Manchester United hit a new low on Sunday, with Ralf Rangnick finishing his tenure as the club’s interim manager with a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. When rivals such as Liverpool and Manchester City were competing for the Premier League title at the top end of the table, the Red Devils needed to rely on West Ham United to drop points to qualify for next season’s UEFA Europa League.
Thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion beating West Ham United, the Red Devils will play Europa League football next season. Overall, the defeat against Crystal Palace marked a fitting end to a disastrous season for the club.
When it comes to the relatively better performers for the club, David de Gea had a standout season. He had not been at his best for a few years but appeared to rediscover his form this time around.
In the aftermath of the defeat against Crystal Palace, De Gea was clearly not happy with the situation but chose to hope for a brighter future:
David de Gea makes brutally honest Manchester United comments
"“The level we have shown in the last three or four months isn’t enough to win a Premier League match, we were sloppy, we lost some easy balls around our box, it’s impossible to win the games.“I just want to be positive, to forget about this season.“The new manager [Erik ten Hag] was in the stands, so that’s a good signal.“I hope things will get better for next season – that’s the past already. We all know it’s been a bad season, for everyone.”"
He had a clear message to those who did not want to remain at the club:
"“The people who don’t want to stay, just go.“And the people who really want to stay at the club, who want to fight for the club, let’s have a good rest in the summer, prepare ourselves in the mind and in the body and be ready to fight again next season.”"
De Gea might have been in great individual form through the course of this season but his own Old Trafford future might be in some doubt. Questions have been raised about whether the Spaniard fits into how Erik ten Hag would want his team to play.
On the basis of this season, he is clearly the best goalkeeper that Manchester United have right now. But will he remain the first choice next season, with playing with the ball at his feet not a strength? Interestingly, Dean Henderson appears to be on his way out of the club this summer as well.