Manchester United sit just outside of qualification for the Champions League, as they are a single point behind rivals City. With four tough league matches to go (Arsenal, Spurs, Southampton, Crystal Palace), the storied club has hope, but the window gets smaller each week. Should United miss the chance to play in the UCL next year by failing to qualify in the league or by winning the Europa League, the club might lose a major part of their (meager) recent success.
With another year out of the famed competition, United’s wonderboy goalkeeeper David De Gea might take a one-way flight to Madrid, a warm, vibrant city where clubs from all around Europe come to play year after year. Rumors arise every summer linking De Gea back to Spain, but after a failed transaction two years ago, Real Madrid seem likely to give Manchester another chance in negotiations.
If you believe the Metro, a £60m bid should be proposed once the summer transfer window begins, and Jorge Mendes, De Gea’s agent, should be likely to secure a great deal for his prized client.
Let’s say United fail to qualify for the UCL; De Gea will likely wave goodbye with a fat stack of money in his back pocket, and United will be on the hunt not just for a prolific striker, but a goalkeeper as well. That’s not a jam you want to be in, but fortunately for them, Manchester’s pockets run as deep as the Mariana Trench; they can easily afford the expenditures, but United might not have to fork out that much cash to find a replacement.
Enter Kasper Schmeichel; at 30 years old he’s four years older and two inches shorter (Schmeichel is 6’0″), but has made far more saves in fewer starts than De Gea. 94 saves in 26 appearances for Kasper, as opposed to David’s 68 saves in 33 appearances. While De Gea seems lanky and his improbable, fully-extended saves bring up “The Matrix” memes, you can’t over look Schmeichel’s work.
There’s no doubt that De Gea is a ‘keeper you want to hold on to, but £60m is a lot for someone to stand in goal, even if they are David De Gea. If transfermarkt is anything to go by, Schmeichel’s value has taken it’s perch at €8m (£6.7m), meaning United could look to make a quick £54m when you convert euros to pounds. But, that’s if Leicester City were to sell Kasper for such a low price in this inflated market. If you ask me, £15m should be enough to convince the reigning Premier League champions to part ways with Schmeichel.
Just 7 clean sheets so far this year, Schmeichel’s performance from last year has dropped a bit; he didn’t allow a goal in 15 league matches last year. That’s not directly Kasper’s fault, as the defense in front of him has seen a significant drop in performance from last year’s magical high. Any goalkeeper would get beat all year with this backline standing guard.
We all know Schmeichel is fantastic in goal, a leader on and off the pitch, and his father once played for United, making 292 appearances during the 90’s. He won a lot. The fans would adore him, and there’s no doubt he would provide intangibles that United currently lacks, mainly a spine and a Danish angst to frequently guide the men standing guard at the edge of the box. United need a goalkeeper like that, not like De Gea, no matter how perfectly still his hair is for 90 minutes or how well-timed his saves may be.
United don’t need a goalkeeper worth £60m, UCL qualified or not. They need someone in goal who will work seriously hard each week, who won’t be in the papers with rumors of leaving or for anything other than getting 3 points each week. ‘Keepers who stay out of the focus of the media and stay in front of each shot hit towards goal are the only ones you want.
If United wanted a Dea Gea-calibre replacement, they would need to take a loss on De Gea’s sale or practically break even, and not many top ‘keepers will want to take a trip to Manchester if there aren’t any Champions League matches to be played at Old Trafford next year.
That leaves United with few options, and Sergio Romero can’t be the permanent one. United can fare with Schmeichel if it means they can splurge on someone to score a plethora of goals on the other end of the pitch; the club doesn’t have a leaking issue, but they sure do have trouble scoring.
Everyone, even De Gea, would be happy with Kasper Schmeichel donning a United kit each week, whether or not there is a UCL patch on his sleeve.