Alarming David De Gea statistic highlights Manchester United’s issues this season
The Spaniard was our Man of the Match against Brentford, which has been a common theme throughout 2021/22.
It’s been a recurring theme of United’s season that their No.1 has bailed them out repeatedly and even against Brentford he made two terrific first-half saves with his feet to deny Mathias Jensen.
De Gea was called into action seven times in West London, five more than his opposite number Jonas Lossl, a remarkable fact given the supposed gap in quality between the sides.
But even with United’s top-quality players, teams have found it too easy to get through the centre of the Red Devils this term, as these alarming statistics highlight.
De Gea’s all-action season
So far in 2021/22, no Premier League goalkeeper has made more saves than De Gea, who has denied the opposition 79 times, 12 more than Jose Sa who is second on the list.
While this highlights just how impressive the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper’s form has been this season, it also raises serious questions about those in front of De Gea.
How have opponents managed to create so many shooting opportunities, and why is it so easy for sides to play through United?
It’s not just against the top sides where De Gea has faced busy matches, he also made seven saves against Aston Villa on Saturday, the same number away to Newcastle United, and five against Norwich City.
In comparison, Ederson, who has played the same number of games as De Gea, has made 32 saves all season. Meanwhile, Alisson is on 34, Hugo Lloris’s tally is 50, while Edouard Mendy has made 51 saves.
Even more concerning figures
The Covid-19 cancellations this season mean that statistics can be skewed in certain manners with sides playing a different number of games. For instance, Burnley have played six fewer games than Chelsea.
But United’s woeful statistics also continue when analysed per 90 minutes. So far this season, United have faced on average 3.76 shots per game, the highest of any side in the division. Leicester City are next with 3.37 shots, followed by Wolverhampton Wanderers on 3.35.
When it comes to saves per 90, De Gea is fourth on the list with a tally of 3.76. It’s Southampton’s Fraser Foster who is in top spot with four saves per game, although he’s only played four times in the league this season.
Daniel Bachmann (3.9) and Alvaro Fernandez (3.83) make up the top four, with both players’ appearances in the double figures for 2021/22.
Interestingly, De Gea’s save percentage is the sixth best in the top flight at 73.1%, with Sa again impressing with a huge 85.9%.
Has De Gea been United’s best player this season?
Despite enjoying a brilliant individual campaign, Whoscored rate De Gea as having United’s 11th highest average ratings this term, and have only once awarded him Man of the Match.
Admittedly, there are a few outliers with these numbers, for instance, Phil Jones tops the chart with an average rating of 7.23 after his one performance this season, but it seems amazing De Gea lags behind the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2021/22 when it comes to Whoscored’s statistical model.
In our eyes, there’s no doubting De Gea has been United’s standout performer this term, and the fact the Red Devils still remain in a top-four battle is largely down to the Spaniard’s form.
It’s even more remarkable given how much his form dipped in the two preceding years, and De Gea ended last season as second choice behind Dean Henderson.
However, those days now seem like a forgotten memory for the 31-year-old whose showings this season have cemented his place as anOld Trafford legend and one of the club’s greatest overseas players.