Manchester United's announcement that Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes has started training with the club may well have come as a surprise to many yesterday afternoon. It's even been reported that the 32-year-old will sign a deal with the Red Devils once he recovers from his knee injury.
This news, then, will surely come as a major blow to the club's current back-up keeper, Anders Lindegaard. The Danish goalkeeper was brought to the club in 2010 under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, but he's never really been able to secure a starting role on a consistent basis at the club.
He's enjoyed spells as the No.1 keeper at Old Trafford, and was even rotated with De Gea for a period under Ferguson. However, since Louis van Gaal's arrival at Old Trafford, the 30-year-old has found opportunities hard to come by: in-fact he's yet to play a single minute in a competitive fixture under the Dutchman.
Even in United's humiliating defeat against League One outfit MK Dons back in August, Van Gaal opted to start De Gea, with youngster Ben Amos taking a place on the bench.
De Gea's form
It's not incredibly surprising, however, that Lindegaard has struggled to take De Gea's position in the starting XI of late. After all, the young 'keeper - who has recently even taken the great Iker Casillas' position in the Spanish national side - has been in quite tremendous form.
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De Gea has saved United on many occasions over the last year or so; his outstanding performance against Everton a couple of weeks back just show how good he is right now. Lindegaard, then, can't really have any complaints about being behind him in the pecking order at the Theatre of Dreams.
However, if Valdes does sign a deal with Manchester United, then where does that leave Lindegaard? It certainly doesn't give him the opportunity to take to the field; it doesn't even hand him a place on Van Gaal's bench at Old Trafford.
He has to be devastated by the Valdes news. In fact, right now, he's lining up for the club's U-21 side to play West Ham United. He better get used to it; he will be the club's third or even fourth choice 'keeper if - and when - Valdes signs for the club.
Without a doubt, though, Valdes will prove quite the coup for United. If De Gea does pick up an injury throughout the campaign, then he will be a fine option for Van Gaal to call upon. United - much like Chelsea - will have two top-class 'keepers at their disposal. There just won't be any room for Lindegaard.
January, then, may prove the time for him to move on. At 30, he's not getting any younger, and he may well look towards securing a No.1 spot for a side in the Premier League. He may even look elsewhere...just don't expect him to stay at Old Trafford for much longer.
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