Monday, March 27, 2023

Manchester United Keeping Tabs On This European Keeper: An Ideal Replacement For De Gea?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by the Sun, Manchester United have sent a scout to catch Dinamo Zagreb goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic in action against Rosenborg in the UEFA Champions League playoffs last week. The same source has also claimed that the Red Devils have identified the Croatian keeper as a potential replacement for David De Gea if the Spaniard decides to leave Old Trafford.

The Sun had revealed earlier this month that De Gea is yet to pen a new long-term deal with the Mancunian club and is willing to keep his current employers sweating until January. The Red Devils will need to move quickly if the Spanish goalie decides not to sign a contract extension. They are better off selling him for a cut-price fee rather than risk losing him for free next summer.

Livakovic’s Remarkable Form For Dinamo Zagreb This Season

Livakovic could prove to be a decent alternative for De Gea after the Croatian shot-stopper’s incredible start to the new campaign. The 24-year-old has featured in nine matches for Dinamo Zagreb this term, conceding two goals while keeping seven clean sheets across all competitions.

His incredible form has not gone unnoticed as the Red Devils are monitoring his performances in the Croatian top-flight and the UEFA Champions League. The Zadar-born talent has also earned four international caps for Croatia so far.

What Will The Croatia International Bring To Old Trafford?

Livakovic can read the game well and tends to position himself in the right areas, which helps him make some decent saves at the back. The Croatian rising star has kept seven clean sheets in nine matches this season which is an incredible feat for a keeper of his age. However, the jury is still out on whether he has what it takes to prove his worth in the Premier League. One can even argue whether the Dinamo Zagreb goalie can cope with the physical toll of English football. 

Will Livakovic Be An Ideal Replacement For De Gea?

The addition of a keeper of Livakovic’s potential will undeniably improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad at the Theatre of Dreams. However, losing De Gea will be a massive blow, and it remains to be seen whether Livakovic can fill the big shoes left by the Spaniard if he eventually ends up departing Manchester in search of greener pastures.

For now, Solskjaer is better off concentrating on keeping De Gea happy at Old Trafford as the Red Devils cannot afford to lose a world-class keeper like him without a fight. However, if he does end up parting ways with Man United, then Luvakovic could be a decent replacement for the Spaniard in the long-run.

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