'A keeper should dominate aerially' - Luis Enrique on De Gea omission

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Luis Enrique has explained his decision to omit David De Gea from his Spain squad, stating that "a goalkeeper should start the play and dominate aerially".

De Gea was left out of the head coach's squad for the second consecutive international break this month, despite enjoying an impressive individual campaign at Manchester United in 2021-22.

Athletic Club's Unai Simon, Brentford's David Raya and Brighton's Robert Sanchez were all included ahead of the Red Devils' No.1, and the national team boss has now spoken about his decision.

What has Luis Enrique said about De Gea?

The head coach was asked about De Gea's absence ahead of Spain's latest Nations League outing against the Czech Republic on Sunday.

“I look to have three starting goalkeepers and I think that right now I have them. Honestly. I wouldn’t have an issue with any of the three of them starting," he said.

Luis Enrique went on to stress the importance of having a keeper that commands his penalty area and has excellent distribution skills to kick start attacks - two areas in which it has been suggested De Gea can be found lacking.

“Unai has accumulated some interesting experience. A goalkeeper should start the play and generate the first superiority, they must dominate the aerial play," the 52-year-old added.

“I need a goalkeeper that transmits peace and calmness to me - and that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, errors are part of football. But what they generate I like a lot.”

De Gea's Spain career

De Gea picked up his first senior international cap back in 2014, and has since appeared in a total of 45 games for his country across all competitions.

The shot-stopper was only taken to the World Cup as a third choice option that year, but he was the main man between the sticks four years later at the tournament in Russia under Julen Lopetegui.

De Gea also made Luis Enrique's squad for Euro 2020 but Simon played ahead of him during Spain's run to the semi-finals, and it seems unlikely that he will win back the No.1 jersey before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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