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Manchester United Target 29-year-old La Liga Shotstopper As De Gea Successor

David de Gea United

Manchester United have been linked to a stunning move for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The Slovenian shot-stopper has established himself as one of the best in the world in recent years. The Red Devils are now considering a move for the 29-year-old to replace David de Gea.

Jan Oblak playing for Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Jan Oblak
Image Obtained Via Beinsports

De Gea has been Manchester United’s undisputed goalkeeper since the 2011-12 season. The Spaniard, who incidentally also joined from Atletico Madrid, was a part of United’s last league-winning side in 2013.

The 31-year-old has amassed 495 appearances across 12 seasons for United, maintaining 168 clean sheets along the way (stats via transfermarkt). He has affected 1296 saves, with an impressive save rate of 72.7%.

However, in recent seasons, the Spaniard has come under the scanner for his poor distribution and his unwillingness to leave his line. Erik ten Hag deployed an aggressive pressing system at Ajax, which was well supported by Andre Onana’s sweeping abilities. Onana was also very comfortable on the ball, which allowed Ten Hag’s Ajax to build up more comfortably from the back.

At Old Trafford however, Ten Hag has been forced to play with a lower line of defence to accommodate De Gea.

Keeping De Gea’s on-ball problems aside too, United cannot be blamed for looking at possible candidates for the club. De Gea has lacked any sort of competition for his role in recent years. His backup, Dean Henderson, has spent most of his time in recent years on loan or on the bench. Martin Dubravka, De Gea’s current backup, is also 33 years old. De Gea himself is 31, and will not be United’s number one in the long run. He is also a free agent in 2023.

Manchester United Target Jan Oblak To Replace David De Gea

Jan Oblak seems to be on United’s radar to succeed the Spaniard. The Slovenian joined Atletico Madrid from Benfica in 2014. He displaced first-choice keeper Miguel Angel Moya in the 2015-16 season and has not looked back since.

Across 6 seasons, Oblak has 221 clean sheets in 471 games for Diego Simeone’s men (stats via transfermarkt). He has made 872 saves with a stunning save rate of 78.7%. Oblak has won the La Liga Zamora trophy 5 times, and was part of the UEFA Champions League Team of the Season thrice: 2016, 2017, and 2020.

Although Jan Oblak has a contract with Atletico Madrid until 2028, Manchester United could try and prise him away from the Spanish capital.

According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux, Manchester United are willing to offer Jan Oblak a bumper raise if he joins them. United’s contract proposal sits at a whopping £15.6m per year (€18m). This is just £50k less per week, than what De Gea makes right now.

Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race for the 29-year-old, but already have the luxury of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas as goalkeeping options.

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As an additional boost to Manchester United, reports suggest that Atletico Madrid are already hunting for a replacement for their star man. According to The Mirror, the 2021 La Liga champions have identified Aston Villa goalie Emiliano Martinez as a potential target if Jan Oblak leaves.

Should Manchester United sign Jan Oblak? Or should the Red Devils persist with David de Gea for the time being? Let us know in the comments.

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Adithya Ravi
Football enthusiast. Stat enthusiast

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