Edwin van der Sar has backed David De Gea to rise to the challenge of remaining Manchester United's No.1 goalkeeper.

De Gea's position at United has been called into question following a string of high-profile blunders last season.

The Spanish international retained the faith of boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but let him down with two horrendous mistakes in United's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

To make matters worse for De Gea he has seen Dean Henderson return to United from a successful loan spell at Sheffield United.

Henderson, who was part of Gareth Southgate's last England squad, has signed a new and improved deal with United and is determined to replace De Gea as first choice keeper.

Van de Sar, who made 266 appearances for United and helped them win 10 major trophies, including the Champions League in 2008, believes competition for places is healthy.

But he reckons the challenge presented by Henderson will bring out the best in De Gea and he said: "That's what it's always been about.

"When you're a young player, you look up to the guys who are in the first team. Then when you start training with them and you start to challenge and start to work hard, so you're ready when that moment comes.

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"David has been fantastic. He's been amazing for the club, but Ole will take a look at how the competition in the team is and which goalkeeper works best with the defence.

"I was quite impressed with Dean's rise with Sheffield, but David has been great for United. He has made some mistakes but I've made them myself. Every player makes mistakes.

"I'm sure that David will be the force that he has been for the club and hopefully now with the investment in the right players that are coming in, it's looking more and more like a competitive squad again to challenge for the honours. I'm sure that those two will push each other to a high level."