It’s been a hugely disappointing season for Manchester United, without many positives to take from the campaign at all.
It was certainly tricky for ex-Red Devil Luke Chadwick to speak too enthusiastically about any of his former club’s current players, but he did find praise for goalkeeper David de Gea.
It’s not a great sign if the goalkeeper is the main man, with the defence clearly needing to give him better protection, while the midfield and the attack could also do their bit to ensure their ‘keeper’s performances aren’t as important.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick made it clear that De Gea was his pick for Man Utd’s player of the season, though even then he questioned what his future at the club might be due the style of play of incoming new manager Erik ten Hag.
“You look at Ronaldo, still scoring so many goals, it’s a great achievement in a struggling team. Still, the player of the season again probably has to be De Gea,” Chadwick said.
“He’s made some great saves throughout the season, he’s kept them in games at times. Apart from him and Ronaldo I’m not sure anyone would be satisfied with how they’ve done, and with how the team is finishing in general. I think I’d give De Gea player of the season because of his consistency throughout.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for him now. I’m sure Ten Hag will 100% rate him as a wonderful world class shot-stopper, but maybe not as the best ‘keeper with his feet, playing out from the back, which is a big part of how Ajax played under Ten Hag, and how Liverpool and Manchester City have been playing.”
Aside from those players, Chadwick was also pleased with the emergence of youngster Anthony Elanga, whilst praising the youth players at Old Trafford in general.
“Apart from the two players I’ve mentioned, no one’s really been consistent. Elanga’s a promising young player who’s come through, and he’s had a real positive impact at times,” Chadwick said. “He’s got an exciting future in front of him, but it’s really tough to pick out anyone else. The performance levels just haven’t been what you’d expect from Manchester United.
“In a way the massive plus of the season was probably what we saw last week with a sold-out Old Trafford for the Youth Cup fixture. They’re the players the club will be most proud of this season, because they’ve been successful, and I can’t imagine any other club in the country could get that many people in the crowd for an Under-18s game.”