David de Gea returns to Spain as Manchester United prepare for derby

Goalkeeper home after birth of first child as Dean Henderson steps in for match against Manchester City

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was more than happy to allow goalkeeper David de Gea to return to Spain after the birth of his first child as Dean Henderson steps in for Sunday's derby clash against Manchester City.

The 30-year-old was conspicuous by his absence from Wednesday's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace due to "personal reasons", with the goalkeeper subsequently confirming his partner gave birth on Thursday.

Returning to Spain during the coronavirus pandemic brings quarantine headaches but Solskjaer had no hesitation in allowing De Gea to leave despite the crunch clash with City looming.

"It's a fantastic day for David," he said. "Of course when you become a dad that's probably the best possible feeling you can have. The ones who have been lucky enough to have that feeling know exactly what David is going through now.

"I'll give him the time he needs before he comes back. He has to go home and in the old world that's a day, you come back and you're ready again.

"Now with the pandemic and quarantines it's a different world, but still we felt when David wanted to go and be there to support his girlfriend of course there's not even a decision to make. Dean came in and played well and he's ready, so I'll give David the time he needs of course."

________________________________________________

Palace v Man United player ratings

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS