Manchester United No.1 David De Gea will not be going to the World Cup in Qatar, after being left out of Spain manager Luis Enrique’s huge 55-man provisional squad.
On Friday afternoon, Spain submitted their preliminary list of players, which will later be whittled down to a final 26-man party that travels to Qatar. In order to be part of that final group, players needed to make the larger, initial selection.
De Gea’s name was not listed, with fellow Premier League goalkepeers Robert Sanchez (Brighton), Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) and David Raya (Brentford) selected ahead of the 31 year old. Unai Simon of Sevilla is expected to retain his status as Spain’s No.1 for the tournament, while Getafe’s David Soria is the fifth and final ‘keeper selected.
De Gea’s discomfort of playing out from the back is believed to be a key factor in him being overlooked, with modern goalkeepers expected to contribute to all phases of play. The Red Devils stopper has looked ill at ease when tasked with building attacks, with many United fans calling for a change.
Still, the move is seen as a surprise, with De Gea one of United’s better performers this season and a key part of the club’s recent revival under Erik ten Hag.
There was more surprise news in the Spain squad, however, with Sergio Ramos handed a call-up to the provisional 55-man squad. Ramos, a veteran of 180 caps, has not played a game since his shock omission from his nation’s Euro 2020 squad. Should the PSG defender make the final 26-man selection, it will be seen as a miraculous turnaround for a player many fans thought was finished at interntional level.