Jose Mourinho has confirmed David De Gea will return to the Manchester United starting line-up against Arsenal on Sunday, having played Sergio Romero for the Europa League win over Celta Vigo, but refused to guarantee either goalkeeper a place in the final if the club get there as he does not like “complete separation” of competitions.
The Portuguese has used Romero for 10 of United’s 13 continental fixtures so far but also pointed to the fact that De Gea has also been used in the competition as evidence that the Argentine is not his “Europa League goalkeeper”.
The expectation would be that Romero starts in the final given his regular use before it, however, and the selection in such games comes at a pointed time given the increasing questions over whether De Gea will go to Real Madrid in the summer.
Mourinho had been asked at his post-game press conference whether that speculation had any influence on his decision, only for the United press officer to cut the question off. The Portuguese himself merely insisted that his decisions show he trusts all of his goalkeepers, and also described 20-year-old third-choice Joel Castro Pereira as “the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation”.
“I don’t like to say this competition is for one goalkeeper, that competition is for another one,” Mourinho said. “Sergio played one match in the Premier League, David played two matches in the Europa League against Fenerbahce and against Feyenoord, Sergio played also one match in the League Cup, David played the other matches and played the final. I don’t like that complete separation.
“But Sunday [against Arsenal] David plays. We have two fantastic goalkeepers, we have a third goalkeeper that I think will be the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the next generation. We have great goalkeepers, and [against] anyone in the world I trust completely.”
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