There is a case to be made for David de Gea being the best goalkeeper in the world.
The 28-year-old has been playing at an elite level for many years now, winning Manchester United’s Player of the Year award in four out of the past five years.
Yet his form for his club has been wildly different to his recent displays for Spain.
De Gea had a very poor World Cup, making just one save in the entire tournament and making a mistake that allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to score in a 3-3 draw against Portugal.
And his disappointing run has continued for La Roja. Per Opta, De Gea has saved less than half the shots on target he has faced for Spain since the World Cup.
De Gea came under yet more criticism for his role in Tin Jedvaj’s late winner as Croatia beat Spain 3-2 in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday.
The ‘keeper palmed a shot straight to Jedvaj’s feet in injury time, and the Croatian defender tucked the ball away.
Saul Niguez reacts to De Gea's form
Many are calling for a change at the position, with Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga providing competition to De Gea.
But Saul Niguez believes any criticism that De Gea receives affects the entire Spain squad.
“When you put so much criticism on a player, it affects us all," Saul said, per Goal.
"Even if we say, 'No, it is not good for anyone that De Gea receives criticism, they should not be like that'.
"He is one of the best in the world. There may be times when you decide good or bad and for me it is unfair that you blame De Gea.”
The Atletico Madrid star doesn’t believe that De Gea is suffering from a confidence crisis.
"I do not think he lacks confidence, he shows a tremendous personality, but what is generated, that negative energy, is not good for anyone,” Saul added.
“It would be best to change energy and talk about other things.
"If David concedes goals, I do not think it's just his fault, but everyone's, we all have to pay more attention."
Spain’s 3-2 defeat means they will only qualify for the Nations League Finals if England and Croatia draw on Sunday.News Now - Sport News