Manchester United: David De Gea Will Only Get Better
Spanish keeper David De Gea endured a rough first half of the season which culminated in him being benched by Sir Alex Ferguson. An unfortunate injury for Anders Lindegaard allowed De Gea back into the starting eleven and he hasn’t looked back. His stunning performance against Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford was just a preview of what De Gea will evolve into; a world class goalkeeper.
Manchester United have had a history of poor goalkeeping signings. The efforts to replace Peter Schmeichel failed until United signed future Champions League hero Edwin Van der Sar. World cup winner Fabian Barthez couldn’t cope with the pressure of being number one for United and others couldn’t either. Now that De Gea has had a full season under his belt, it is fair to review him now, rather than when the papers called him a flop barely a month after his debut.
After De Gea was fortunate to be back in the starting lineup after the injury to Lindegaard, he stepped up his game. He seized the opportunity that was presented to him. He looked more confident in goal and he had more of a presence in his box. Defenders respond well to a confident goalkeeper and this spreads through out the team. De Gea was no longer looked upon as a weakness in the back field, making United a stronger team.
When Manchester United came back from three down against Chelsea, he saved Juan Mata’s free kick late on to preserve the draw. His performance against Norwich City kept United in the game so that Giggs could score a late winner. For those who gave the young goalkeeper patience, it was good to see him end the season on a high note.
With Spain’s shock elimination from the London Olympics, David De Gea will return to training sooner that expected. This would be good, as it will allow him to travel with the team when they finish the rest of their pre-season tour.
It’s been a year since his transfer from Atletico Madrid and his English will have improved, as will his grasp of the English game. De Gea will have improved physically and this year he will be more prepared. He has always had confidence in his own ability and I’m sure his team-mates now have confidence in him. Now it’s time for all the fans to get on his side as well. De Gea won’t be flawless, no-one can be, but he will establish himself as the undisputed number one.
Calling all United fans: Do you agree with Alex’s views? Who do you think should start in goal for United? Will having Nemanja Vidic back help? Whatever your views are we’d love to hear from you.