Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he has never considered dropping David de Gea despite his recent patchy form as he backed the Spaniard to keep his place for many years to come.
De Gea eclipsed Peter Schmeichel’s record to become the overseas player with the most Manchester United appearances and he is set to play in his 400th game against Southampton on Monday night.
While the Spaniard has been crucial for the club for many years, his form has dipped in the past 18 months and, with Dean Henderson waiting in the wings on loan at Sheffield United, there have been calls for De Gea to be replaced.
But, despite his mistakes and drop in form, Solskjaer said he has never considered dropping the 29-year-old and has repeatedly hailed him as the best goalkeeper in the world.
“It did not cross my mind for one second [to drop him]. Not at all. To be a Man Utd goalkeeper you have to have a strong mentality," Solskjaer said.
"David has a strong mentality and he has been here for so long that he is coming up to 400 games, and you don’t do that by being afraid of the limelight or being afraid of Old Trafford.
“You do that by walking out on to that pitch and showing them your quality and mentality and he is a strong character and I didn’t see any good in taking him out at all, no.”
Schmeichel backed De Gea to go on for another 10 years and Solskjaer has no doubt the Spain international can continue to be successful at the club.
“He has been fantastic, David, and, since I have been here, I have enjoyed working with him," Solsjaer said.
"He has come out and said that he wants to play many many more maybe ten more years, how long will he be able to stay at the top is just up to him because it’s a pleasure to watch him being humble enough to work hard with Richard and Craig and the other goalkeepers around the place.
"He’s won the Premier League, he’s won the FA Cup, the Europa League, the League Cup, but that is probably not enough for him. I don’t think he will be happy until he wins the bigger trophies, and staying at Man Utd in this time and they are not having one more I think that’s something that he will feel is a black dot in his career.
“He’s won his personal awards but I don’t think David is that type who cares about personal awards, I think he wants the team to lift big as well.”