David De Gea full of praise for Manchester United fans, wants to emulate club legends at Old Trafford
De Gea also spoke about his early days when he struggled to cope with the physicality of the Premier League
As Manchester United get ready to take on Liverpool at Anfield in a Super Sunday clash, David De Gea spoke to Sky Sports about his ambitions at the Old Trafford club. After a move to Real Madrid collapsed on deadline day in the summer transfer window, the Spanish goalkeeper has put his head down and gone about his business to help Manchester United in the Premier League.
The Liga club had blamed the Red Devils for sending documents too late but United retorted that they had proof it was sent on time. But the majority consensus was that Florentino Perez and co should not have left it so late in the transfer window when it was the worst kept secret that they were after the United Player of the Year.
As a gesture to prove his commitment to the club, De Gea has since signed a 4-year contract extension at Manchester United, a deal that will see him remain at the club till 2018. And now with Real Madrid and former club Atletico Madrid banned from registering players in the next two transfer windows, Red Devils fans can rest easy knowing that he will not be returning to Madrid any time soon.
Manchester United fans are the best in the world: De Gea
But the fans never gave him any stick when it seemed like he was going to leave. Sergio Romero was signed to replace him but as soon as he made his first appearance after the transfer window closed, De Gea was welcomed with rapturous applause at the Theatre of Dreams.
“I cannot describe how I felt in that moment,” De Gea said when the loudest cheer was reserved for the 25-year-old shot stopper after his name was announced in the starting lineup.
“In another country, at another club, the fans would not be the same as at Manchester United. They are some of the best in the world, it was unbelievable.”
When asked about his current situation at the club, he was more relaxed than he was during the summer. “I'm happy, I'm enjoying it and I believe in the team,” De Gea replied.
Will he now go on to emulate greats such as Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar who were stalwarts at Old Trafford?
“They were the greatest goalkeepers in the Premier League, they are legends for this club and that is what I want.”
“I train every day to be the best goalkeeper in the world, that is my aim,” he explained.
De Gea wasn’t selected in the 2015 FIFA FIFPro XI when it was announced last week. That honour went to Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The German ‘keeper has made it to the XI three years in a row now. De Gea only came second in the votes.
He was also asked who the best goalkeeper currently was and he humbly replied, “I'm not sure who the best is now, but it's what I want. Also, to win trophies for Manchester United.”
De Gea almost quit United in 2011 to return to Spain
When he was first signed and made his debut for Manchester United, many believed he wasn’t cut out for the Premier League. A number of small mistakes and glaring errors led to United dropping points and De Gea, too, was dropped to the bench.
“The early days were difficult, there were some moments when I thought, 'This is not the place for me, I need to go back to Spain',” De Gea explained. “But I worked hard, in the gym and on the pitch. And I fight, I fight a lot.”