David de Gea remains a “great goalkeeper” for Manchester United, says Dwight Yorke, but he urged the Red Devils to bring Dean Henderson back as they start to plan for the future.
The current No.1 at Old Trafford is set to play a prominent part in that project, with United having worked hard to tie De Gea down on a long-term contract. At just 29 years of age, he still has many seasons ahead of him.
Questions have, however, been asked of his reliability in the 2019-20 campaign, with a man who was once a model of consistency allowing costly errors to creep into his game.
That has led some to suggest that academy graduate Henderson, who has been starring on loan at Sheffield United, should be given a chance to prove his worth.
Yorke believes the 23-year-old should be welcomed back into the fold by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next season, allowing him to see game time for the Red Devils, but he is not ready to write De Gea off just yet.
The former United striker told the Manchester Evening News: "I don't have a problem [with De Gea]. I think people forget that we've all been in that type of position. He was Manchester United's player of the year for three or four seasons running.
"Often enough, people don't look back at that and remember how fantastic he was. Unfortunately, people have short memories.
"He's still a great goalkeeper. He's developed in such an immense way and we were talking about arguably the best goalkeeper in the world a couple of years ago. For me, he's still my No 1, and if I was in Ole's position I would be backing him.
"We all make mistakes, I expect him do to better and I'm sure he will. I have no doubt he will remain at United for some time to come."
Yorke added: "I think you have to have a conversation with the player. I think that's where man management comes in but you want the best players at your football club.
"Of course, Henderson is progressing nicely. I would think integrate him now. I would say to him: 'Listen, De Gea is number one but we will give you time in other competitions.'
"De Gea will need the competition there to keep him sharp. One thing we had at United throughout my time as player, we had healthy competition in training every day.
"If you slack off or you're not performing well, the manager would make changes and that kept us on our toes. That was something that was evident and I think Ole will try to recreate that atmosphere.
"Having him back and letting him get used to that environment as well as keeping De Gea on his toes is a conversation worth having."
Henderson has made no secret of the fact that he wants to become United’s go-to option between the sticks, but accepts that he has a “brick wall” in front of him when it comes to De Gea.