By 90Min
June 26, 2018

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could be dropped by Spain coach Fernando Hierro for the World Cup knockout stages, with the new boss also reportedly considering giving a midfield role for Real Madrid defender Nacho for the upcoming last 16 clash with Russia.

Old Trafford hero De Gea made a high profile error in Spain's opening game against Portugal in which he failed to stop a straightforward effort from Cristiano Ronaldo.

That mistake led to heavy criticism from the Spanish public, with half of voters in one online poll in Spain asking for Hierro to hands the gloves to backup option Kepa Arrizabalaga instead. De Gea kept his place for the remaining group games, but could now be thinking about a change.

The story comes from Spanish outlet AS and is given credence as the journalist responsible, Joaquin Maroto, is said to have close ties to Hierro and is with the squad in Russia.

It is suggested that after leaking five goals in just three games, only one fewer than in 2014 when La Roja, as reigning champions, crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage, Kepa will have a chance to play and breathe fresh confidence into the side.

Finding a place in midfield for Nacho, typically a defender comfortable anywhere across the back four, could be a more important step towards solving Spain's defensive frailty - the team leaked two goals against a Morocco team already eliminated on Monday night.

The 28-year-old, who scored a quite marvellous goal against Portugal as a right back, would be partnering Sergio Busquets in the centre of midfield to give Spain extra solidity.

Spain's game against Russia will take place in Moscow on 1st July.

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