x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Ferguson is prepared to adopt a policy of alternating goalkeepers

The Manchester United manager will utilise both keepers this season to build experience.

David De Gea is expected to start for Manchester United.
David De Gea is expected to start for Manchester United.

MANCHESTER // David de Gea is set to return to the Manchester United team against Galatasaray tonight but he will get his place back along with a warning that he is no longer Sir Alex Ferguson's first-choice goalkeeper.

The Scot intends to alternate between De Gea and Anders Lindegaard in goal, a situation that he believes will benefit both but which shows United's difficulties in replacing the retired Edwin van der Sar.

De Gea was signed from Atletico Madrid for £18 million (Dh107.3m) in 2011 but he endured a mixed first season at Old Trafford and was dropped after last month's 3-2 win over Fulham.

Lindegaard has started the last two games but De Gea is likely to be the choice against the Turkish champions.

"There is a strong possibility of David coming back," Ferguson said. "The most important thing I am trying to achieve is to give them both experience of the English game. They are both young, they do not have the experience of a Van der Sar or a [Peter] Schmeichel, so I am happy alternating them. That's the policy I am adopting and I am happy with that situation."

United failed to qualify from the group stages of last season's Champions League when home draws against Benfica and Basel proved particularly costly. Ferguson used the competition to rotate his squad then but has vowed not to make the same mistake again. "I will be playing a more experienced team," he said.

Patrice Evra, who missed Saturday's 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic, is fit to return at left-back. Ferguson believes United's chances depend upon their defenders remaining available. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are both out and the manager added: "I am down to three centre backs" - in Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans - "and if I was guaranteed two of those being fit for the rest of the season I would take that now."

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