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Why David De Gea is key to Manchester United’s success

By now David De Gea must surely be unrivalled for the title of best goalkeeper in the world. That tall, nervy and uncertain youngster who arrived at United under Sir Alex Ferguson now seems worlds away from the superstar who successfully guards United’s net every game. De Gea, who was the first player to win the player of the year award three times in a row, has developed into one of the best players in the world in general and his importance in Mourinho’s United squad cannot be understated. He is clearly key to United’s success.

De Gea has an incredible record across all competitions. Having played 2,340 minutes this season, it is clear the faith and trust that the manager places in him. He has shone as one of the stars this season, making 85 saves in the league this season and keeping 15 clean sheets in 26 Premier League appearances. Clearly, the 27-year-old is an integral part of United’s defense and is truly a superstar in the team. It wasn’t too long ago that United feared they might lose De Gea, with Real Madrid keen to sign him on.

Since a fax machine prevented this transfer years ago, the rumours have not died down and start up again every time the transfer window opens or there is even a story about a player wanting to leave Real; suddenly it is reported that it is a swap deal and that the Spanish giants will finally get their hands on the young keeper. But De Gea hasn’t let these rumours or the failed transfer distract him though and has developed into a fan favourite, having rescued a point or a win for the red on multiple occasions.

For the past two seasons, De Gea was the true star of the show against Liverpool away at Anfield. His superb saves (with both his hands and his feet) earned United a point, on two days when the performance from outfield players was less than satisfactory. During both of these matches, De Gea stepped up and was one of the few bright sparks, in two largely boring games where other players failed to perform. De Gea did not let United fans down on what were some of the biggest games of the season and has become all the more loved because of it.

De Gea has many impressive qualities that have made him into such a star in both the Premier League and the footballing world in general. As previously mentioned De Gea seemingly saves just as many goals with his feet as he does with his hands, gallantly throwing his long legs in the way of any balls that dare threaten his clean sheet. Whilst he admittedly is not quite a modern sweeper keeper, who comes as far out and dribbles with the ball at the halfway line, he has been able to make 74 sweeper clearances during his time in the Premier League, showing that he can indeed keep up with a new and growing generation of athletic sweeper keepers.

De Gea has not always had the best of luck with penalties, having saved only two in the Premier League, however United fans will not forget the penalty he saved from (future teammate) Romelu Lukaku, in the FA Cup Semi-Final. United would go on to win the final and claim their first piece of silverware in the post-Alex Ferguson era. This trophy and victory can be traced back to De Gea and his vital save, highlighting how key a part he has played in United’s success over the years.

The defence has been an incredibly unsettled part of both Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho’s United team, but one thing has remained constant: De Gea. It is clear that for hopefully many seasons to come United’s defence will be built around the Spanish keeper and his athletic and agile performances will deliver many more victories. For United fans seeing De Gea still in a United shirt is a sign that the club is having a revival and will soon be restored to their former glory, as the young Spaniard is reportedly very happy and settled in Manchester and is not seeking a transfer.

De Gea has been so vital to United’s success in the past. His continuing quality and talent this season suggests that he will continue to be so for many more seasons.

Written by Ciara Garcha

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