In this most madcap of seasons, how Manchester United managed to contrive to throw two points away, despite putting in one of their best performances of the campaign against Everton, is dumbfounding.
Brilliant goals from Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes deservedly put United 2-0 in front, and the hosts were in cruise control, safe in their domination.
But poor goalkeeping on two occasions from a stopper who has rewritten the goalkeeping coaching manual since his arrival in England back in 2011 ultimately ensured United missed the chance to move level with Manchester City at the top of the table.
'The situation has changed' - Tuchel backs Chilwell after 'mentally tiring' summer
And this is not De Gea's first misdemeanour in the last few seasons. In recent months he may have cut out the glaring errors that became relatively common place last season, but the Spaniard's ability to win points with his crucial saves, at pivotal moments, has deserted him.
- Calvert-Lewin injury-time equaliser stuns United
- Opinion: VAR is not ruining football, bad referees are
What now must come into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's thinking is that there is a readymade replacement chomping at the bit to be given his chance on the sidelines. It is time for a changing of the guard in the United goal, even if only temporarily.
When was the last time De Gea made one of those sensational saves that had fans salivating a few years ago? He may not be dropping corners into the net at the moment, but he is hardly digging United out of any holes when they need him too as he once could be relied upon to do.
The palm out into the path of Abdoulaye Doucoure for Everton's opener was poor, if not enough to be classed as an outright error, while his lack of courage to throw himself at the feet of Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the last-gasp equaliser was forgivable, if still frustrating.
These are the moments, however, that can hinder a resurgent United at this crucial moment in the Solskjaer project. If De Gea isn't winning United at least a few points over the course of the season, then that can be the difference between one or two league positions.
The stats don't make for positive reading for the Spaniard. Eighteen goalkeepers to have played at least 10 league games this season have a better save percentage than De Gea this campaign. This is not always the best metric to measure a goalkeeper, as some teams face many more shots than others. Nick Pope, for example, leads the way, but Burnley concede more efforts at goal than others.
So, to measure De Gea's return, you compare him to goalkeepers in teams in and around United at the top of the table. Ederson, Alisson, Hugo Lloris, Bernd Leno and Kasper Schmeichel all have saved over 10 per cent more of the shots they have faced than De Gea.
Dropping high profile stars, especially one who is the highest paid player at the club, is not a simple decision. But what will make Solskjaer's decision a little easier is that he has Dean Henderson waiting in the wings.
Spurs eye shock move for ex-Arsenal star - Euro Papers
Henderson has not been error-free when given his opportunity this season, but he has impressed and made some crucial saves at several junctures too. The errors will become less frequent the more game time he gets, he just needs his manager to take the plunge.
Casting De Gea aside is not needed. He does not need to be sold. He perhaps just needs a reminder that nobody is irreplaceable, and that little jolt alone could also inspire De Gea to raise his game and rediscover his best form.
Henderson will not wait around forever, so this feels like the perfect time for Solskjaer to make that change in goal and both players, and the team, could reap the rewards.
United confirm Ronaldo deal
Ferguson 'reached out to Ronaldo' to steer him to United - report