The past few weeks have seen the number of goalkeepers linked to us dwindle and the player who looks odds on favourite to sign is David De Gea. David De Gea is considered one of the best, if not the best young GK’s in the world and Sir Alex has gone for probably the best available.
While almost all fans are excited by the prospect of seeing De Gea in goal next season, the fear that we might see a repeat of what happened after Schmeichel’s retirement exists. Most point to De Gea’s lack of experience and in a way they are justified in what they say about the youngster, but his rise to the top has been nothing but meteoric and has been Atletico’s undisputed no. 1 GK for quite a while.
Two seasons ago he was the 4th choice GK at Atletico Madrid; they had just signed another very highly rated GK in Sergio Asenjo, despite the coaching staff at Madrid insisting that De Gea was a better prospect. Half a season later, De Gea got his chance in goal following a series of injuries to the GK’s ahead of him and also a series of costly errors from Asenjo. De Gea took his opportunity and hasn’t looked back since. He has since taken the no. 1 shirt from Asenjo, who’s had to settle for a place on the bench.
De Gea’s impressive performances saw him make the 30 man shortlist for Spain’s world Cup squad and more recently Iker Cassillas was quoted saying that De Gea would soon replace him as Spain’s no. 1 Gk. De Gea isn’t exactly lacking in experience in big games. Having kept goal for Atletico in around 50 games already, he has played in the Euro Cup final and also in the European Champions Cup final. This summer he’ll be in goal for Spain at the European U-21 Championships, as Spain look to add another major title to their burgeoning collection of trophies.
De Gea has an uncanny resemblance to Van der Sar and even has been nicknamed Van De Gea! At a height of 1.93 meters, De Gea is quite a force in the box, he has excellent reflexes, pulling of stunning stop in one on one situations. He’s known for pulling off some very acrobatic saves from long shots and is very agile. What makes De Gea special is his mental strength, a rarity in goalkeepers as young as him, something Sir Alex highlighted when questioned about De Gea.
For those who didn’t know, we spent the entire season scouting him, and Sir Alex is doing his best to ensure that a repeat of the post Schmeichel era doesn’t happen. His young age does mean he is prone to the occasional error, but then one always learns more from defeat than victory. And De Gea has always bounced back from a mistake a better player. Sir Alex has already confirmed that we’ve been trying to get him for a while now and all signs point to a move to Old Trafford for the 20 year old.
In time he is sure to become the best in the world, in signing him now rather a few seasons later Sir Alex has almost surely saved the prospect of having to be involved in a bidding war against other teams. If Sir Alex didn’t think De Gea was ready to play at Old Trafford or couldn’t handle it, I’m sure he wouldn’t be trying to sign him up.
Next season is a season of change for us, with so many players leaving the club, and De Gea will be one among the several new faces joining the club. I’m excited and can’t wait to see the young Spaniard in action and I think we have settled the goalkeeping position for at least the next 15 years with his signing.