Graziano Pelle says David de Gea is capable of performing miracles in goal and rues chances missed against him in a Spanish and Manchester United shirt.
De Gea did an excellent job of keeping Spain in their last 16 clash with Italy with two point blank saves and was unlucky to have conceded when Spanish defenders reacted slowly to a free-kick save he made.
Having come in for some criticism after the Croatia game, De Gea had all eyes on him as he tried to repel an Italian attack that boasts the speedy Eder and physical Pelle in its ranks.
The Southampton striker scored at the end of the game to put his side 2-0 up but understands how rare it is to beat De Gea.
“Scoring at the end feels great, but I had also tried in the first half and De Gea performed a miracle. He’s done that to me before in the Premier League too, so I reminded him and we had a laugh.
“This is my first major tournament and the affection of the fans when we arrive at the stadium is marvellous. We are distant, but close, so I thank the Italy supporters all over the world.”
He has only recently surpassed Iker Casillas in Vicente del Bosque’s Spanish side and has had a relatively good campaign for his country. When you consider the fact that Sergio Ramos was poor and Spain were lethargic and susceptible to counter-attacks against both Croatia and Italy, De Gea did well for much of those games.
Jose Mourinho is in the process of rebuilding Man United’s defence and with Luke Shaw returning and Eric Bailly coming in to give Chris Smalling a legitimate long-term partner in central defence and De Gea will get a good opportunity to repeat the excellent form he has shown in a United jersey in previous years.
A failed move to Real Madrid last summer appears to have dissipated completely with reports that De Gea has decided to stay in Manchester for the foreseeable future to see what Mourinho builds at the club. A perennial Champions League competitor with a long history of winning domestic league titles will ensure United return to their former glory days.