Former Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins has heaped praise on David De Gea following his performance against Liverpool on Monday night, insisting that the Spaniard will be vital for Jose Mourinho this season.
De Gea was a largely untroubled figure in the first-half of Man United’s contest with Jurgen Klopp’s side, doing very little aside from gathering a Roberto Firmino header.
His second-half display, however, was monumental: two sensational saves from Emre Can and Philipe Coutinho ensured that the visitors came away from Anfield with a clean sheet.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Wilkins was quick to laud the 25-year-old’s performance.
“I think Manchester United will finish higher than Liverpool purely and simply because they have a world-class goalkeeper,” Wilkins said.
“He was called upon on only two occasions last night and he made two world-class saves. I think he will earn them a lot of points and I think Liverpool have a slight problem defensively.
“Seventy-five per cent of goalkeepers in the world would have let in both of those efforts. Those would have gone in against goalkeepers of a lesser standard than De Gea. He didn’t have a lot to do but was absolutely brilliant when called upon.”
It was, by all accounts, a match-defining display from De Gea. A seemingly endless international break would have clouded the fact that, last time out, the 25-year-old made a woeful error against Stoke, causing Mourinho’s men to drop two points.
His salvation came in the form of two sensational stops, consolidating a deserved point for the visitors, and in turn stopping Klopp’s side from scoring at home for the first time since January.
The first stop simply defied belief: Can’s shot, passing through the legs of several defenders, looked destined for the bottom corner, but a firm right hand somehow pushed the ball to safety. His second stop was a feat of wondrous, typically De Gea-esque acrobatics, and Man United fans will hope to see more of the same over the course of the season.