Skip to main content

Van Gaal expects De Gea to face Arsenal

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is optimistic that David de Gea will be fit for the Premier League game against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Spain goalkeeper, 25, has missed the club's last three matches with a knee injury suffered in the warm-up of their Europa League last-32 first leg game away to Midtjylland on February 18.

Van Gaal, though, thinks De Gea should be back in action against title-chasing Arsenal, but was less sure on the status of defender Chris Smalling (shoulder) and attacker Anthony Martial (hamstring) for the game.

He said: "I expect [David can return] because I saw the way he was on Thursday.

"Chris is a question mark, but you never know. I don’t know [about Martial] because it has happened before the match. I have talked with him. 

"I have talked with the physiotherapist that already had control of him. I cannot say, but it is not as heavy as everybody thinks."

Van Gaal, who has 14 players on his injury list, is starting to see light at the end of the tunnel from the treatment room.

He added: "I am very happy with Marcos [Rojo] that he played 10 or 15 minutes and how he showed already his form and shape, he was very good. 

"But I have to build him up in the games and that's not so easy because he only had two training sessions with me.

"On the first day, he was with the second team and, on the second day, he was with us. So I take also a risk to do that, but I think that I have to do that now with 15 minutes and then 30 minutes and like that and I hope we can build him up.

"[Antonio] Valencia is also coming back and [Marouane] Fellaini too - in the month of March, a lot of players are coming back and then we have a strong selection again."