David de Gea was called 'Karius' by Marco Asensio after Man United vs Real Madrid match in 2018

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David de Gea is going through an extremely tough period right now.

The Manchester United goalkeeper produced two mistakes in the Red Devils’ 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday.

They came just one month after his error in United’s 1-1 draw against Tottenham, a mistake which prompted Roy Keane to launch a furious rant at the Spaniard.

“I’m sick to death of this goalkeeper, I’d be fighting him at half-time, there’s no getting away from that, I would be swinging punches at that guy,” the former Man United midfielder said on Sky Sports after De Gea allowed Steven Bergwijn’s shot to fly in.

More ex-United players have weighed in on De Gea’s form.

Paul Scholes offered a message of support on Instagram, writing: “Yep, he’s having a bad time…but without him Utd wouldn’t have finished in the top 10 the last 6yrs…he’ll be back!”

Rio Ferdinand, however, wasn’t ready to defend his former teammate.

“I watched these games with my boys at home and I was flabbergasted to see them go past David because he's a top-drawer goalkeeper,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

"It is disappointing really, as a Manchester United fan you want to defend your player but at the moment he is not in a position to be defended in that respect."

Ferdinand’s right. And with Dean Henderson waiting to usurp De Gea at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a decision to make.

De Gea’s name has been mentioned in the same sentence as Loris Karius’ in recent weeks - and that’s not a good thing.

But it’s not the first time De Gea has been compared to Karius.

Back in 2018, Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio mocked De Gea by calling him ‘Karius’ following a pre-season clash against Manchester United.

It came after De Gea’s miserables performances for Spain at the World Cup, in which he conceded six goals from seven shots faced.

Footage emerged of Asensio calling out ‘Karius! Karius! Karius!’ as he approached the Man United ‘keeper.

At the time, it was a joke at De Gea’s expense.

Little did we know that the 29-year-old would never recover from his wretched World Cup.

De Gea made a mistake in Spain’s first group game, letting a Cristiano Ronaldo shot squirm underneath his body, and Gary Neville believes the tournament in Russia signalled the start of his decline.

“The reception he's got in Spain has affected him. He's even been booed by Spanish fans when he's wearing the Spanish shirt," Neville recently said on his podcast.

“In the World Cup in 2018 he really struggled and from that he's doubted himself.

“Mentally he’s not quite the same.”

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It will be interesting to see how Man United handle this situation.

Henderson has impressed on loan at Sheffield United and some feel as though he deserves to be Man United’s first-choice ‘keeper.

But there are others who believe De Gea deserves an opportunity to redeem himself.

He was once the best goalkeeper in the world and there’s a chance he could return to the level he reached during his prime.

But for now, the Spaniard has to make do with comparisons to Karius.

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