Can De Gea Live Up To Old Trafford Expectations?
David de Gea, welcome to Manchester United, the most successful club in England! The jury is still out on David de Gea’s move to Manchester United with many experts believing the Spanish lad faces the toughest test in his short but eventful football career. At the age of just 20, becoming the new No.1 goalkeeper of a club of the size of Manchester United is no easy task. And the tag of being Edwin Var Der Sar’s successor will weigh heavily on the young man.
David de Gea’s rise on the European stage has been phenomenal. Despite his talent, Atletico Madrid wanted to loan the youngster out to second division. First team football remained a distant dream for de Gea until he was called upon to cover for Atletico number one Segio Asenjo’s absence, who was away on International duty, for an encounter with Real Zaragoza. From then on, the career graph of de Gea has been upward and rising. But he rose to prominence on the European stage through his brilliant displays for Atletico Madrid in their last year’s Europa league winning campaign and that was when many big clubs started to take notice of him. The former Atletico goalkeeper, as I can safely call him now since he has undergone a medical in Manchester, is already being touted as Iker Casillas’ replacement for the Spanish national team. The Spain number one himself has showered praises on the young goalkeeper.
Despite being still 20 years of age and inexperienced, there is no doubting the Spaniard’s abilities and talent. He helped Spain win the U-17 European championship and reach the final of the U-17 Wolrd Cup in the same year and shone in the recently concluded U-21 European championship winning campaign for Spain. David has goalkeeping in his genes since his father was also a goalkeeper in Spain’s third division. Nicknamed ‘Van der Gea’ by some of his Atletico teammates because of the similarities in their styles, the tall, atheltic goalkeeper is a good shot-stopper, distributes the ball very well and is strong on crosses. With 154 saves and 11 clean sheets in 38 games for Atletico last season, the youngster has a commanding presence in goal and is incredibly calm in high pressure situations, much like Edwin van der Sar. One of his best displays was during Atletico’s home game against none other than reigning European and Spanish champions Barcelona. David de Gea stood out in the match with a string of excellent saves.
Young, nearly £20m fee, a pop star girlfriend, David de Gea’s success in England depends on how he adapts to life in a new country. Being a goalkeeper for a club like Manchester United, de Gea can expect to become one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. This, of course, depends on how quickly he can learn things at United and improve. He will improve with age. At 20, he has a long way to reach his peak. But what de Gea is sure to gain is experience of playing at the highest level. And playing under a master manager like Sir Alex Ferguson, Spain are assured that their future no. 1 is in safe hands. Ferguson, like all Man United fans, will be hoping United can avoid the goalkeeping woes of the post-Schmeichel era. Much of David de Gea’s success at Old trafford depends on how the young lad can handle the pressure of expectations of the most famous football club in the world.
Can he succeed at United? It remains to be seen.