It seems an age ago that a scrawny teenager donned the gloves for the first time in the Community Shield against Manchester City. Just signed from Athletico Madrid and with a world of hype behind him, David De Gea finally made his Manchester United debut and reassured nobody. To say he started poorly would be understating how the Spaniard kicked off his career in Manchester, but that skinny figure behind the defence has gone, and the boy has become a man and arguably the best keeper in the World. And following his countries dominating 3-0 win over another goalkeeping giant in Gianluigi Button, MUTV spoke to United’s number one and grilled him on what it means to be the best.
“Of course, you feel really proud when people think this about you, it’s really good, but I like to keep my focus, keep working hard and doing my best.
“To be fair, when you are really young, you don’t think about the future too much, you just want to play with your friends. When you get older, you start to dream about being there, about being at a top team, so of course it’s a dream to be at a team like Manchester United.”
The rise of De Gea has been nothing short of mesmerising. His first season really did leave you wondering what Sir Alex Ferguson saw in him; he couldn’t catch, he was physically weak and couldn’t command his area even one jot, many believed he wouldn’t last five minutes and genuinely thought Anders Lindegaard would usurp him. It’s enough to make you sick. But slowly he became a behemoth. He bulked himself up over the summer and learned the language, grew in confidence and began fine tuning some of the weaknesses that had struck so much fear into those watching. His reflexes sharpened up and his rise to the summit was well underway.
A goalkeeper of De Gea’s ilk comes along once in a blue moon, he is easily worth a minimum of 10 points a season (10 points that David Moyes and Louis van Gaal have been most grateful for) and his run of club Player of the Year awards speak for how highly he is regarded by everyone involved at the club, so it was only natural Real Madrid would come calling. As important as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic will be and the emergence of Marcus Rashford is, arguably the best bit of business Ed Woodward has performed in his role was using that broken fax machine. If United are to reach the heights of previous eras, De Gea will be the main protagonist.
Dave saves is a popular saying around Old Trafford because, for the most part, it is exactly what he does. He can now take charge of his 18-yard box and is slowly becoming more dominating within his six-yard box that should see him become an all round great. Doubts that when Madrid could begin signing players again the Spaniard would jump on the chance have been quashed by his latest comments regarding his happiness in Manchester. The rain eventually becomes second nature, and holidays to warmer climbs a luxury that can be appreciated. David De Gea is the best in the world, and he is Manchester United’s to appreciate.