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Man Utd star David De Gea’s phone call to win Dean Henderson battle | Football | Sport

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The United man has been preferred to Kepa Arrizabalaga since Luis Enrique returned to the Spain hotseat last year, which has given De Gea increased confidence.

Enrique’s side play a high defensive line, and the head coach applauded De Gea during their 1-0 defeat against Ukraine on Tuesday when he raced off his line on two occasions to clear the ball from no-man’s land.

The Spain boss also encourages De Gea to play with his feet – something he hasn’t worked on much at United since Louis van Gaal’s time in charge between 2014 and 2016.

De Gea’s work with Espana has helped him enhance these aspects of his game for his country, and it is hoped United will reap the benefits too – with Solskjaer’s defence having been criticised after their recent 6-1 thrashing by Tottenham.

But the competition from Henderson has also helped, with the source close to the Spaniard saying: “David has a lot of talent, and needs somebody to stay on top of him, to keep improving.

“Competition is a positive, an incentive to play to improve and play better. This summer he has realised that, which is why he went to Miguel Angel. He knew he had to pull his socks up.”

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Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport.