As Manchester United approach what is fast becoming their most important period of the season, the club have made an astonishing decision with one of their regular first-team players.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs all hands on deck with some hugely important Premier League fixtures in the offing, but that hasn’t stopped him from telling David de Gea not to rush back from Spain, where he has travelled on personal leave.
According to the Daily Mail, de Gea is back in his native country to witness the birth of his first child with partner, Edurne Garcia.
The outlet note that the custodian is keen to get back to playing as soon as circumstances allow, but the Norwegian has suggested he doesn’t return until after the upcoming international break.
Dean Henderson will deputise in his place, and as a result of the Spaniard’s extended absence, he will have six games to prove his worth.
Should the 23-year-old do just that, it could sound the death knell for de Gea’s career at Old Trafford.
With Henderson tipped to take over longer term at some point, this decision also gives Solskjaer some thinking time too.