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De Gea on esteemed path towards desired Man Utd greatness

| 19.01.2016

Lee Gormley | January 18, 2016

De Gea wants to become Man Utd hero

Last summer saw one of the longest running transfer sagas seemingly come to an abrupt end, as David de Gea’s proposed move to Real Madrid collapsed with only moments left in the transfer window, causing a flurry of finger pointing between the Spanish giants and Manchester United.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Southampton v Manchester United - St Mary's

After learning his trade the hard way in the Premier League before Sir Alex Ferguson called it a day, De Gea has since become arguably the Red Devils’ most important figurehead. The Old Trafford favourite is now set to continue on his path towards club greatness, despite coming agonisingly close to sealing a deal which would have made him the latest high profile ‘Galactico’.

Following that collapsed summer switch, De Gea returned to the side in a 3-1 victory over Liverpool and, despite Man Utd witnessing the instant crowning of a new hero in Anthony Martial, the club celebrated the retaining of a familiar stalwart between the Old Trafford sticks.

Fan favourite De Gea adored at Old Trafford

Louis van Gaal’s side, 22/1 with Coral for a Premier League title triumph, had two reasons to cheer on that occasion on home soil, having overcome bitter rivals Liverpool but first laying down a damning marker to Real that their star shot stopper was going absolutely nowhere.

“I cannot describe how I felt in that moment,” stated De Gea, regarding the deafening reception he received from his adoring home fans before that returning appearance at Old Trafford.

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“In another country, at another club, the fans would not be the same as at Manchester United. They are some of the best in the world, it was unbelievable.”

Following last year’s deadline day calamity, it still looked for all the world that the Spain international goalkeeper would eventually leave on a free transfer to his home city the following summer of 2016.

Although, maybe surprisingly, De Gea put pen to paper on a new long-term deal with his current employers and, along with Madrid’s recent transfer ban being imposed, looks to have banished any lingering hope of a Real deal. Unless, of course, the Spanish club make a truly mammoth offer in the next two weeks.

De Gea “happy” in current surroundings

De Gea may have been forgiven for taking time to overcome what seemed to be his desired move to Spain falling through, but the Madrid-born goal guard has since maintained his incredible form which saw him voted as the club’s player of the season for two years running.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Selhurst Park

Instead, the Spaniard has knuckled down to resume his crucial role in Van Gaal’s set-up, highlighted by his sensational man of the match heroics against Liverpool last weekend, as he now targets gaining legend status and emulating former icons Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar.

“I’m happy, I’m enjoying it and I believe in the team,” he added. “They [Schmeichel and Van der Sar] were the greatest goalkeepers in the Premier League, they are legends for this club and that is what I want.”

“I train every day to be the best goalkeeper in the world, that is my aim. I’m not sure who the best is now, but it’s what I want. Also, to win trophies for Manchester United.”

Hard work paying off for Man Utd ‘saviour’

De Gea’s transformation on the red half of Manchester has been extraordinary, having arrived as a fragile shot stopper who was clearly lacking a physical presence and now earning ever-growing praise for his match-saving displays each week, excelling during a time when Man Utd have been underperforming.

“The early days were difficult, there were some moments when I thought, ‘This is not the place for me, I need to go back to Spain’,” stated De Gea, speaking of early mistakes which cost his side points and him his place in the starting line-up.

Spain v England - International Friendly - Spain Training Session - Rico Perez Stadium

“But I worked hard, in the gym and on the pitch. And I fight, I fight a lot.”

The 25-year-old was part of Ferguson’s final title-winning squad before the Scot’s retirement, but his remarkable performances haven’t been transferred into silverware success in more recent campaigns, something which will need to change in order to truly be remembered alongside former greats.

Though it’s not through a lack of relentless trying on De Gea’s part, as he continues to literally save Man Utd’s skin with each passing fixture, but the Spaniard is 7/1 to have his heroics finally rewarded with an FA Cup win this term, ahead of what could be a huge summer for him at Euro 2016.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.