Gary Neville has singled out David de Gea as Manchester United’s most important player this season and feels the club has to do everything to keep him.
The Spaniard has been sensational this season and has become one of the best goalkeepers in the world in his time at United.
Predictably, Real Madrid are being linked with a move for De Gea and with his current contract expiring next summer there are some concerns among fans as to why a renewal hasn’t been agreed yet but Neville believes he would be the last player Louis van Gaal should consider selling, no matter what the price offered is.
“De Gea is the player I would say Manchester United could least afford to sell,” Neville wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“His improvement is enormous. In a Monday Night Football piece, a couple of years back, I pulled him up on his mistakes against Spurs, because I thought his errors would stop United winning the league. They had conceded 29 goals in 19 games.
“I see speculation that Real Madrid want to buy him for £25m. He would be the last person I would sell, as Manchester United manager, for any amount of money.
“After that Spurs game people remembered the criticism but failed to recall that I also said he could go on to be one of the world’s best. He just needed to develop that physical maturity and decision making. Now, you wouldn’t sell him at any price, and Manchester United should be looking to lock him down for the next five to seven years. He is winning games for them now.”
Neville is right in that De Gea is United’s most important so far this season because without him in the side, United would certainly not be in fourth place. His goalkeeping heroics have been worth so many points already and it’s only December.
Goalkeepers of De Gea’s quality are a rare breed, there are only a few per generation, and United have to make sure they do everything in their power to keep De Gea at Old Trafford for as long as possible.