Currently Manchester United are 3rd in the Premier League Table and their form has improved a lot as compared to the start of the season, they were struggling to score goals and also were conceding goals for fun but the scenario has changed and huge credit for this goes to their 24 year old Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea. De Gea has been rock solid on the goal in recent months and is looking unstoppable. Critics, experts, fans and his fellow team mates say that he is currently the best goalkeeper in the Premier League and has the potential to become the best goalkeeper in the world.
David De Gea joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in the year 2011 for a staggering amount of £17 million. De Gea had big boots to fill at Old Trafford as he was bought as a direct replacement for their retired legendary goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar. A sum of £17 million was gamble to buy a 20 year old goalkeeper but the gamble paid off. But it wasn’t easy for united to get the best out of David De Gea as Manchester United spent a total of £16m on De Gea’s training in past 3 years and he was trained under a few coaching greats and one of them is his current coach Frans Hoek. Many great goalkeepers such as Edwin Van Der Sar, Victor Valdez etc have developed under this man. David’s development was slow and steady but totally worth the wait and their efforts are paying off now.
De Gea’s spell with Atletico was reasonably good. He made his debut for the senior team in the year 2009 and made overall 57 appearances. He played a very key role in their Europa League and UEFA Super cup triumph of 2009-2010. Whereas with Man United he won the League Title in his second season and won the FA Community shield twice as well. David De Gea was named in the PFA’s team of the year 2012-2013 for his excellent performance throughout the season and was also named as the Manchester United’s and Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year 2013-2014 under David Moyes’s team.
De Gea is an acrobatic goalkeeper who relies more on his instincts than technique. He is a brilliant shot stopper and an excellent reader of the game. De Gea makes more than 2 saves before conceding a goal which is an outstanding number considering the standard of the Premier League attack. Till now he has made 39 saves in 16 games which compute to an average of 2.4 saves per game. His recent match saving performance was against United’s bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford where he made 8 saves and was named the Man of the Match. For Man United De Gea is not the man for the big occasion but he is their man for every occasion. The way he is compensating United’s sloppy defending with his excellent skills only great goalkeepers can do that.
De Gea has competition from some modern greats such as Manuel Neuer, Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lorris etc to become one of the greatest. If he is able to continue this excellent run no one can stop him from getting his name in Hall of Fame. Real Madrid and Spain coaches see him as the next Iker where as he is the next Van Der Ser or Schmeichel for Man United.
Here’s a brilliant video of Gary Neville analyzing David De Gea’s performance and improvement over the past three years.