David de Gea looks as though he “does not trust his back four” at Manchester United, says Paul Parker, with the Red Devils urged to snap up Bournemouth centre-half Nathan Ake as an option to provide greater assurance all round.
Questions are once again being asked of a goalkeeper at Old Trafford who was once untouchable. De Gea was, for several seasons, a model of consistency for the Red Devils as they struggled for such qualities as a collective under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
Various opinions have been offered in the debate regarding the slump from De Gea, with a man now tied to a lucrative new contract seemingly taking his eye off the ball.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has, however, continued to speak out in defence of his favoured No 1, with there no indication that Dean Henderson or anybody else will be taking on starting duties any time soon.
Parker can understand that decision, but the former United full-back does believe that further reinforcements are required in an area of the field that continues to pose unnecessary problems.
He told Eurosport: “It wouldn’t surprise me if De Gea is on edge because he does not trust his back four. When you trust your defence, you play much better.
“I think that United need to make changes in the transfer window. Harry Maguire should not be on the left of the central defence. He should be on the right where he is more comfortable.
“I’d drop Victor Lindelof and bring in Nathan Ake from Bournemouth. Chelsea don’t seem to want him, so now is the time to make a move. He has proven that he is a good defender in a poor team. He’s comfortable on the ball.
“Being left-footed, he would bring the ball forward better than Maguire does from that side, which is needed because Luke Shaw isn’t good enough in attack either. Ake would balance the whole side.
“Every player has a blip, and it’s up to the manager to coach De Gea, to sort him out and stick him out. He can’t just throw him out.
“De Gea knows he needs to justify his contract, and the club can’t afford to stick his £300,000-a-week wages on the bench.”
United have been linked with a number of possible additions ahead of the next transfer window, but the vast majority of their top targets are said to be options for the final third of the field – such as Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.