If there ever was an award at Manchester United for the most consistently top performing player, it would rightfully go to young Spaniard, David de Gea–who has, thus far, kept United’s dream of re-entering Europe’s top flight very much alive this season. Forget about winning the season, that’s just what United officials are expected to say to journalist. Realistically speaking a third place finish would be an accomplishment for the Manchester club and this young man has been key in locking his team in the top half of the EPL table.
Let’s not go too far back and start with his penalty save against Baines. His inspired performance against Drogba and Hazard at home ensured his team drew at full time. And more recently his precision againstLiverpool assisted in securing them an unprecedented 3-0 score.
David has come a long way from the scrawny teenager who took his awkward first steps out at Old Trafford in the 2011/12 season. His shaky start to a new life at Manchester and English football probably did him more good than bad. He has since made stark improvements to his game, not only in terms of goalkeeping ability but also his physical presence (which is still a work in progress I hope).
Some players buckle under the heat and pressure of expectation. Expectation usually coming from hefty price tags being paid for potential world class players at an early age. David has proven his mettle and albeit burnt and scarred – he has come out of the fire looking swift and sharp. This is a rare of true world class players in the making.
The last one United forged is currently recognized as the world’s best player – Ronaldo. Another few current examples of young players who have matched up to their potential would be in the bracket where one would find Eden Hazard, Raheem Sterling, Mario Gotze, Xherdan Shaqiri, Koke, Thibaut Courtois, Isco, David Alaba, Paul Pogba(still pissed Fergie let him go on a free transfer), Neymar and Raphael Varane just to name a few (sorry I got carried away).
However looking at the aforementioned players, most of them seem to have it good. The clubs they play for are used to a certain level of comfort and winning barring Sterling who finds himself partnering “Super” Mario at Anfield. Poor lad has to run twice as much while Balotelli camouflages himself on the pitch.
David de Gea has no such luxury. His back four is either made of inexperienced teenagers, wingers, defensive midfielders, reckless Brazilians or mainstay Centre-backs made of glass. As a goal keeper I would hate to safe guard the United goal given how fantastically poor the defense department is. But interestingly enough, de Gea has kept his calm and has kept making those vital saves for his team. Now this should tell you something about the man’s character. Any other human being would be dejected to defend that goal, but this guy – he just keeps getting better every match. Each time he pulls a top drawer save and you think that’s a “Save of the Season” contender, he goes on and makes another one.
It’d be a farce if he isn’t selected to be his country’s Number 1 come international selections. However, we don’t have a “Politics” section on the site, so let’s skip that discussion for now…
Speaking of which the Spanish Capital Club has finally come knocking looking to bring back one of Madrid’s home grown talents back to the city. David could always take the easy route out and head on back to Spain where he will almost be guaranteed at least one competition win per season – an aura the Red Devils have lost.
I believe his heart is at Manchester and he would profit as a player to stay in the club. His shot stopping reflexes are probably peaking at this age which he should look to maintain for the next decade or so. He still has some work to do on his physical presence and the command of his area. What I would like to see more from him is on top of his brilliant individual performances, he needs to add an aura around him that affects his defenders positively. Maybe a few lessons on intercontinental communications would help him bark better at his back four.
I fully expect his outstanding season to continue regardless of United’s overall team performances. And at the age of 23, he can only get better in his position. United have a real keeper on their hands and if goalkeepers truly do hit their peak after 30 – I sense a Spaniard entering United’s hall of fame.