David De Gea- The next United legend?
With the second season in Atletico, David’s reputation strengthened further after some impressive performances in La Liga, and then rumours of a possible move to Manchester United started spreading. The speculation was further intensified when United’s goalkeeping coach was spotted in Spain scouting the young ‘keeper. By the end of the 2010-11 season, it was almost certain that De Gea was the first choice for Sir Alex Ferguson to replace the Dutch legend – Edwin van der Sar. Talks of a possible transfer were put on hold during the UEFA’s Under-21 European Championships, where De Gea helped Spain to win the title.
After Spain’s victory, De Gea eventually signed for United, despite his young age and relative inexperience (just two full seasons of senior football). The first campaign for De Gea at United was a fairly successful one after a tough start to the season. The first half of the season was a period when De Gea’s performance were scrutinized by the critics and the media after almost every match. But eventually, De Gea adapted to the rigours of the Premier League and performed brilliantly in the second half of the season, when he was given a second chance after Lindegaard got injured. De Gea remained in the goal after a 3-3 draw at Chelsea, where he produced a stunning save to stop Juan Mata’s brilliantly struck free kick, till the end of the season.
With the second season started, De Gea has only improved as a United goalkeeper, looking more and more comfortable dealing with crosses and adapting to the physical aspect of the Premier League. At just 22, De Gea is the youngest ever first choice keeper for United, and as Sir Alex Ferguson has said, he can become a Manchester United legend, just like Peter Cech for Chelsea, who Sir Alex Ferguson had ironically not signed when he was young because of his age and inexperience. De Gea was recently called up for the Spain squad, and was elected as the team captain in the Olympics 2012, which meant he missed the pre-season training for Manchester United.
With his recent performances and form, De Gea has reassured the Manchester United fans that he is the right person to replace Edwin van der Sar, and can become as good as Peter Schmeichel, the best goalkeeper Manchester United ever had.