Well, we didn't have to wait as long as we thought as David De Gea has this morning officially penned a five-year contract at Manchester United as we seal the Spanish goalkeeping sensation on a fantastic long term deal. He only had his medical the other day but ever since SAF openly admitted to the media that he saw De Gea as Van Der Sar's long term successor, we knew it was only a matter of time before the young Spanish shot stopper joined the ranks at Old Trafford. At 20, he is light years ahead of anyone at his age and comparisons to Iker Casillas are rife and deserved. Buffon started his career at 17, Casillas started his career at 19 and De Gea started his career at 19; could United have landed the keeper of his generation? I think so.
“I feel very proud and I can’t wait to start playing here. When a club the size of Manchester United comes in for you it obviously makes you very, very happy. It’s a great privilege to be part of a club like United and I'm keen to do my best and show what I can do.”
De Gea seems very humble in his move and it is a great characteristic for this young keeper to have, as he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders when he steps onto the turf of Old Trafford. Having Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in front of him should ease his passage into the Premier League and his agile shot-stopping ability should mean that he will take no time settling down himself. If I had to compare him to any goalkeeper in the Premier League, I would have to say Joe Hart. Flexibility, agility and intelligence are 3 of De Gea's greatest assets and he should be ample replacement in the long term for Edwin Van Der Sar. We have to remember that last season was quite possibly Edwin's best in a United jersey so we will have to be patient to see the same sort of return from David De Gea but for me, this is the best signing of the summer.
It is not just me who shares this sentiment as United goalkeeping legend Alex Stepney, the fabled goalkeeper who was part of United's first European Cup winning XI, believes that we have made a fantastic signing in De Gea:
"He's done very well for Atletico and his record last season (24 clean sheets in 45 games) is incredible in a top-class league. Certainly I've seen what a good shot-stopper he is and it would seem that he's going to be Sir Alex's number one."
The arrival of De Gea most certainly means that one goalkeeper will be leaving this summer and we can all join in prayer that it is Tomasz Kuszczak. Every time he plays, I am filled with a horrible sense of inevitability every time the ball goes near him and the last thing you need in a goalkeeper is zero confidence. It is about time he went back to a club like West Brom and seeing as Scott Carson has moved on already, it could be a possible move for the Polish shot-stopper.
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