Home » Eric Steele: David de Gea always needed to be challenged at Manchester United

Eric Steele: David de Gea always needed to be challenged at Manchester United

by Marwan Harraz
David de Gea

Former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has opened up on David de Gea, discussing everything from why the club signed the player to why his form dropped last season.

The experienced Spaniard has gotten back to his best this campaign, with Ralf Rangnick even publicly admitting he’s the club’s number one.

🗣️ — Eric Steele on De Gea: “The save against Kabak — there’s not many goalkeepers who could make that one, who have that unbelievable extension of the arms added to his anticipation. He’s making the big saves when they matter on a regular basis.” #mufc #mujournal [Athletic]

🗣️ — Eric Steele on competition improving De Gea: “David’s dip corresponded with the fact that he wasn’t being challenged enough by Romero. Maybe #mufc regretted not bringing Dean Henderson back off loan a little earlier because De Gea lapsed a bit” #mujournal [Athletic]

🗣️ — Eric Steele on distribution: “I never agreed with the way #mufc played out with Maguire and Lindelof because it took away one of David’s best attributes: his unbelievable natural ability to pass accurately and distribute the ball over distance” #mujournal [Athletic]

🗣️ — Steele: ”He[De Gea] can hit a 40-yard ball more accurately than Maguire and Lindelof. I looked at some of his clips from his second year recently — the distribution was incredible.” #mufc #mujournal [Athletic]

🗣️ — Steele on longer distribution: “It was part of the reason that we bought him, we wanted a young Van der Sar. Maybe that will change under Rangnick because he’s not a big lover of playing these short triangles and inviting pressure.” #mufc #mujournal [Athletic]

🗣️ — Steele on changes in De Gea: “He’s more vocal now, on and off the field. You could hear how loud he was shouting in a full stadium like ‘Away!’ and, ‘Man on!’ I could remember teaching him, ‘Left shoulder!’ and, ‘Right shoulder!’ in English” #mufc #mujournal [Athletic]

De Gea was linked with moves away from United only a few months ago but survived the calls for his sale and excelled ever since.

The former Atletico Madrid man found himself battling with Henderson for the number one spot after his form dipped terribly last season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who grew a reputation for having favourites, was forced into dropping De Gea and allowing the young Englishman a chance at glory.

Henderson did well and appeared to be in a strong position to nail down the number one spot for himself, until he returned this season and was struck down by illness.

De Gea was determined to make the most of it and came back firing, leaving the academy graduate with no real chance for minutes since he regained his health.

Perhaps Rangnick will read Steele’s interview and consider how to get even more out of De Gea, particularly as it’s now the difficult part of the season.

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