5 longest-serving players on Manchester United's current roster
Manchester United are undeniably one of the greatest football clubs in the world. Founded in 1878 as 'Newton Heath LYR F.C.', and later renamed 'Manchester United' in 1902, the club has been represented by some top-notch quality over the years.
As the club has grown into the biggest club in England, it isn't very surprising to note that some of the best players in the world have plied their trade on the lush green track at Old Trafford. Naturally, success followed.
Having won a record-tally of 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, and 21 FA Community Shields, Manchester United have, at the moment, cemented their place as England's biggest club.
The club has also tasted glory on the European stage, having won 3 UEFA Champions League titles and 1 UEFA Europa League title. Now, there's little doubt that you need the best of players in order to amass such titles.
Over the years, the turf at Old Trafford has been graced by the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, and most recently, Cristiano Ronaldo. While some players made a quick mark and left, some stayed for decades, making the team truly their own.
Even today, the club is represented by some excellent talent. After the Sir Alex Ferguson era, trophies have been hard to come by, but talent most definitely hasn't. On that note, here's a look at 5 of Manchester United's longest-serving players at the moment:
#5 David De Gea
Joined the club: 1st July 2011
Contracted until: 30th June 2019
Seasons spent at Manchester United: 7
The great Sir Alex Ferguson is said to have only missed 2 Manchester United matches during his 27-year-long managerial career at Old Trafford - One, was on account of his son's wedding. The other, was to scout David de Gea.
At the time, the Spaniard had begun making waves across Europe with some impressive performances for Atletico Madrid. On the other hand, Edwin van der Sar's powers were visibly waning, and the Red Devils knew they needed someone to secure the spot between the sticks once the Dutchman had wrapped up his career.
However, Sir Alex only had eyes for one alternative. It seemed as though the legendary Scottish manager had seen something special. In hindsight, he could not have been more accurate.
De Gea eventually signed for Manchester United in 2011, for a British record fee for a goalkeeper in the ballpark of £19 million. Since then, there has simply been no turning back. Over the next few seasons at United, David de Gea slowly, but steadily, began to stake his claim as one of the best shot-stoppers in the world.
Today, 7 seasons, and 301 appearances later, the Red Devils' guardian is undeniably one of the best in the world, and has single-handedly saved his team on multiple occasions. As Jose Mourinho attempts to carve out a niche for himself in United's managerial history, David de Gea will most certainly be one of the biggest players to help influence that.
Aged just 27, unless a bigger European super-power comes calling, it is extremely likely that United will be blessed with De Gea's skills for at least a few more years - which could be enough time for United to establish themselves once again on the pedestal they once commanded.