Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under pressure to drop error-prone goalkeeper David De Gea as the Red Devils battle for a top four finish.
Former England striker Ian Wright is the latest big name to join the debate, saying Solskjaer must show he is not afraid to make big decisions and drop the Spaniard for the final two games of the Premier League season.
De Gea has made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes in recent games, including one that allowed Chelsea to equalise in Sunday’s 1-1 draw that dented sixth-placed United’s chances of finishing in the top four.
Solskjaer backed De Gea to shake off his poor form in their final two games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City but Wright believes the Norwegian has to take a different approach.
“If he (Solskjaer) really wants to stamp his mark and let people know he isn’t afraid to make decisions, he should take him out,” Wright said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“If the manager explains everything and tells him face to face why he’s leaving him out and giving him a break, that’s man-management and that’s what Solskjaer has to do.”
De Gea’s contract was due to expire this year before United activated a one-year extension but that has not stopped media reports from linking him with a move away from Old Trafford.
Wright said an early end to De Gea’s season would help the struggling Spaniard sort out his future at the club, while back-up Sergio Romero fills in.
“He (De Gea) needs to go on holiday and sort his contract out,” Wright added. “Sometimes you have to take someone out the firing line. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he needs a break.
“There’s a lot going on and he’s under a lot of pressure. When you look at how United are playing at the moment, putting him in that situation is putting him under more pressure.”