De Gea, having claimed three ‘Player of the Year’ awards during Manchester United’s darker moments in the post Fergie era, spent last season away from the spotlight as the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo took centre stage.
And such has largely been the case this season as well, but the 26-year-old has produced decisive displays between the sticks against the likes of Everton and CSKA Moscow in recent times.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Bailly was quick to enthuse about the importance of having such a reliable pair of hands behind him.
“It’s a good thing for us to have, in my opinion, the best defender, the best goalkeeper in the world,” he said.
“That gives us so much more confidence going into a match. David is very, very, very important for everything we do. The goalkeeper instills confidence not just in the defenders but in the whole team, so that’s why I think David is very important to the whole team.”
His numbers from this season tell you the story: just two goals conceded in the Premier League, only five conceded overall from 11 games, and no goals conceded at Old Trafford since April.
De Gea is proving to be insurmountable. Hardly anybody has found a way past Bailly and Phil Jones this season and even fewer have looked like getting the better of the Spaniard.
The mark of a good goalkeeper is not necessarily how many saves they make, but what kind if mood they create between the sticks. And very few keepers invoke the same sense of calm and control as De Gea – something that undoubtedly permeates the rest of Jose Mourinho‘s side.