Is this why David De Gea made that mistake against Barcelona? Richard Lee has a theory

Thursday, April 18th, 2019 6:00am

By James Gray @jamestingray

David De Gea might have been affected by the psychology of playing in Spain, according to Love Sport's goalkeeping expert Richard Lee.

De Gea could do nothing to stop Lionel Messi's opening goal, planted into the top right corner, but the second was a scuffed shot that the Spanish goalkeeper let slip under his body.

The 28-year-old was well-beaten once again by Philippe Coutinho for the third goal that sealed United's Champions League fate but former Watford and Brentford goalkeeper Lee reckons the one goal De Gea could have prevented might have been a problem with his head.

"He hasn't got the reputation in Spain that he's got in England. Here we see him as world-class and one of the best not just in England in the world," Lee said on Love Sport Drive (weekdays 3.30pm-7pm).

"I think he's one of the best in the world, plenty of people have said he is No 1 in the world. In Spain, they don't see him like that.

"I wonder if there was a a bit of a psychological effect or impact that he felt last night by going back to Spain and feeling like he had a point to prove.

"The moment yesterday where it went under him is so uncharacteristic that I think there is something psychological there.

"I think he was very aware that he was playing in Spain and he's got a point to prove."

De Gea is currently out of contract next summer and has yet to sign a new deal with United.

Reports suggested that the promotion of Solskjaer to permanent manager was in an effort to convince the United stalwart that he should stay at Old Trafford and resist the continued overtures of Europe's top clubs.

But Lee does not think De Gea will be going anywhere when you consider what he has done this season.

"Is he looking around thinking that he could be in a better team?" Lee added.

"I'm sure there have been times when he has done that but actually if you look at his form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come in, he's been excellent."

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