David de Gea has insisted that he doesn’t want to win a fourth Player of the Year award in a row at Manchester United this season, expressing a preference for an outfield player to win the accolade instead.
The Spaniard, since joining in 2011, has won the award three times following campaigns bereft of attacking fervour under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Speaking to United Review, De Gea made it clear that he would much rather see an outfield player claim the award this time around.
“I would prefer a striker or someone else to win it – someone who means that the team as a whole is playing well and scoring goals, because it is much better for the team that way,” he said.
“The perfect game is not to touch the ball and we win 3-0 or 4-0!
“I think this year maybe we are conceding fewer chances and we are being more focused all the time and there is more talking among the defence.
“For some games now, as a goalkeeper it is more tiring mentally. My English is much better now than it was, though. I can do my job much better than before and I can communicate with everyone, which is very important.
“I’m a much better goalkeeper than when I arrived. I’m much stronger physically and mentally. I’m improving in as many ways as I can, all the time, and I’m a much better goalkeeper now.”
“I’m very happy at this club, playing a lot of games for Manchester United. But, of course, I want more and more. I want to win more titles and put United, like before, at the top.”
Perhaps the biggest indication of Man United moving in the right direction under Jose Mourinho is that, four and a half months into the season, De Gea’s name has hardly been mentioned.
It is, of course, a superb achievement to win three consecutive Player of the Year awards at United, but every time the 26-year-old stepped up to claim the award one couldn’t help but ponder over the negative connotations underpinning a goalkeeper eclipsing any other player in the squad.
This time around, however, De Gea is completely out of contention for the award, despite continuing in impressive fashion between the sticks under the 53-year-old. United fans will be delighted to see the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Michael Carrick and Paul Pogba leading the race to secure this year’s award instead.