Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea defended by Spain boss Luis Enrique


Spain boss Luis Enrique has defended Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea over criticism of his performances for the national team.

The 28-year-old was at fault as Croatia netted an injury-time winner against La Roja in the UEFA Nations League on Thursday night.

It was the latest gaffe made by the United number one, following on from his high-profile error that saw a Cristiano Ronaldo effort go through him at the World Cup in Russia.

But Enrique says it is unfair to single out De Gea amid Spain's poor run of form.

"It's peculiar," he said, ahead of Spain's friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"When criticism is personalized to one player, it is curious.

"Criticism should be for everyone and for the coach and it's unfair to aim it at one player.

"A goalkeeper can not make a mistake if the ball does not reach his goal.

"I defend my players."

There have been calls in Spain for Enrique to blood another of his goalkeeping options in light of De Gea's displays, but the former Barcelona mangaer refused to be drawn on his plans.

"I have a squad of 23 players and I am looking at my options," he added.

"Today [in Saturday’s training session] we will take advantage of the opportunity to see those who have played the least.

"I will not speak of my preferences, but my actions will speak louder than my words."

Enrique admitted that the contrasting style of play deployed by Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford could have impacted De Gea's performance for the national team, and says it is something he is looking to work on with the former Atlético Madrid man.

"The national team play differently to Manchester United," he added.

"Maybe we can work with him from that aspect, from the psychological standpoint.

"It could be a good starting point."

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