David De Gea has explained that his phenomenal rise to form in the past year has been a culmination of a lot of different factors at Manchester United.
The 22-year-old labelled it all as an ‘on-going process’ that has seen him quash his critics with brilliant and consistent performances, and he cited that a long term process of improvement rather than individual moments is his foundation for success.
“It’s about all the things you learn rather than one individual thing,” he told United’s official website.
“It’s an on-going process, especially when you come to a club from another country. The whole thing is a great experience.
“At first, everything is new. The football, the culture and how people live… it’s about learning how things work at the club and getting to know your team-mates. The whole package has been a lesson for me.”
De Gea has gone from strength to strength since his move to United two years ago and has established himself as officially the best goalkeeper in England.
2013 has already been a hugely successful year for De Gea. He won his first Premiership title, keeping 11 clean sheets in 28 league appearances along the way, earned a place in the 2012/13 PFA Team of the Year and captained his country in Spain’s Under-21s triumph at the European Championships.
Given how wobbly his first season was, De Gea has done brilliantly to put that in the past to turn his United career on its head so quickly and he has reiterated the importance of the support of the fans, players and coaching staff at United in helping him achieve that.
He continued: “The support I have had from everyone at the club has been fantastic.
“First of all you have to have the belief in yourself and self-confidence, but that is enhanced once your team-mates and people within the club show their confidence in you and their support,” stated De Gea.
“You have to be 100 per cent focused in every game at United. For 70/80 minutes you might not have to make a save but then suddenly you might be called upon to make an important stop. You have to be ready all the time. You must concentrate and focus your mind on the game and nothing else throughout the 90 minutes.
“It’s a top dressing room and a great one to join. Everyone in the squad helps you a lot and the settling-in process is made a lot easier by the fact that there is such a warm atmosphere here. All the players welcome you.”
When United signed De Gea as a meek and unassuming 20-year-old goalkeeper for £20 million, some questioned whether it was the right move for United, but it was the perfect move.
The club has a long standing tradition of bringing youngsters to the club who then flourish and it is precisely what De Gea has done so far, and he is only getting started on what could be a fantastic career at Old Trafford.
Replacing van der Sar was always going to be an extremely difficult process but Sir Alex Ferguson made the right move with De Gea, and United have reaped the rewards.