David De Gea – United’s Rollercoaster Performer

There are plenty of rumours buzzing around about potential new signings in the goalkeeping department for Manchester United, most recently Asmir Begovic (Check out our interview with Asmir Here!) but after spending a huge amount of money for David De Gea does he have a future with United? My personal emotional journey is summed up below as far as De Gea is concerned.

Excitement prior to arrival!

David De Gea arrived at Manchester United after helping Spain to win the under 21 European Championship for a fee believed to be around 17 million pound. Having been brought in to replace the retiring Van De Sar, Alex Ferguson was obviously prepared to spend big in the hope of avoiding the Goalkeeping problems he experienced when trying to replace former goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel.

Having arrived off the back of helping Atletico Madrid win the UEFA Cup and then the UEFA SuperCup (Saving a penalty in their 2-0 win over Inter Milan) there was a real buzz around the signing with videos springing up all over YouTube of De Gea’s highlights over the previous year, just like the one below.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”300″ link=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdWJAKUrmoE”]

Screams of Horror

Upon arrival however, things didn’t go quite as planned, after having a horror show in his first competitive start against Manchester City, in particular allowing Dzeko’s long range effort to beat him followed by a weak attempt in the next game to save a tame Shane Long strike instantly questions began to arise over whether De Gea had the physical stature to compete in the English game.

David De Gea Beaten by Shane LongOver the duration of the 2011/12 season De Gea put in a fantastically frustrating series of performances, at times he would be sensational making world class saves time and time again and at other times he would make you cringe as he flapped at a cross or stuck a foot out in an attempt to block a simple shot only to see it slip into the back of the net. What was more frustrating was that this transformation would often happen during the course of a game!

Warming to the Spaniard

By the end of the season performances had become more consistent, but De Gea was still prone to moments of madness and certainly not a powerful presence in aerial battles so at the start of the new premier league season for 2012/13 Ferguson made it clear that there would be a rotation policy with De Gea and Anders Lindegaard sharing the time between the sticks.

Unfortunately neither goalkeeper has covered themselves in glory over the season, both showing the potential to be great goalkeepers but at the same time showing that they are not there yet.

Christmas Optimism

De Gea is still the first choice for most people between the two keepers and following Lindegaard’s recent injury De Gea has been given the opportunity to put a string of performances together which have shown a real improvement in his confidence in the air and decision making.

Against Manchester City in that thrilling 3-2 win he looked commanding when coming for corners and crosses whilst still retaining the shot stopping ability United fans had grown to love which has left many wondering if De Gea has finally found his form and should be given the opportunity to continue his run in the team surely it is no coincidence that his most confident performances have come when he has been assured of a start.

I personally believe that De Gea has the potential to be a true world class goalkeeper and think he will go on to be Spain’s number 1 in the future I just hope he grows into the keeper he can be soon before his chance at United is gone.

One thing is for certain, Ferguson won’t risk losing another league title due to a unreliable goalkeeper, so is David De Gea the long term goalkeeping solution for united? The next 6 months will decide.

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Daz @ KeeperPortal

Owner and creator of Keeper Portal, an FA qualified goalkeeping coach as well as being pretty impressive at keeping balls out of a net.

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