Erik ten Hag confident Jack Butland will boost Manchester United but insists David De Gea remains No1

Erik ten Hag confident Jack Butland will boost Manchester United but insists David De Gea remains No1

Erik ten Hag believes Jack Butland will add important “experience” to the Manchester United squad.

The goalkeeper is on the verge of completing his loan move from Crystal Palace, where his contract is up at the end of the season. United moved quickly after Martin Dubravka, who made just two Carabao Cup appearances for the club, was recalled by Newcastle.

Butland has not played this season for Palace but has nine England caps to his name and was part of the 2018 World Cup squad as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals.

Ahead of his side’s FA Cup third-round clash with Everton on Friday, Ten Hag explained why he wanted to bring Butland in.

“Martin was recalled and now to set up we need three experienced goalkeepers,” he said.

“We have some young ones, and they do well, but we have so many games, so you need three good goalies in training but also when problems are coming you need experience in goal to get your goals, what you are aiming for.”

The Dutchman was keen to make it clear that David de Gea remained the club’s first-choice goalkeeper, though the Spaniard will be out contract in the summer as it stands.

“What he’s (Butland) bringing, I’m really happy with David, it’s quite clear, he’s our No1,” Ten Hag said.

“He’s a really good performer, but there’s always something that can happen with David as well, and you have to be prepared for that, so you don’t have one.

“Last year I had a situation with Ajax we had three goalies injured, and you don’t want a position that you play for trophies, and you have to put in a young keeper, you can’t expect it, and also kill your season. That’s what you have to be prepared for.”

It’s seven years since United last won the FA Cup, while they have not won any trophy since Jose Mourinho led them to Europa League glory in 2017.

Ten Hag will take charge of United in the competition for the first time against Everton, with the Dutchman well aware of the the fans’ desire for a cup run.

“For me the cup is always special,” the United boss said.

“I know in England FA Cup is even more higher expectations, higher standards than in the Netherlands, but I like the cup in the Netherlands as well, it’s a different league. In not so many games you can achieve a lot.”