Probably the most heartwarming story of United’s season so far has been the form of one David De Gea between the sticks.
David has come a long way from just being an excellent shot stopper to a commanding goal keeper capable of handling the brawny set piece situations in English football.
Though his distribution still leaves a lot to be desired, he has turned in several match winning performances during this unbeaten run, which is encouraging considering the musical chairs the defenders have been playing with injuries, form and other issues.
His form (and the woeful slump that Iker Casillas has been in) has seen him as a potential No. 1 for Spain’s national team which could be cemented this season if all things go well. Nonetheless, at 24, there are a lot of air miles left in his legs.
However, Victor Valdes’ recent acquisition has raised some eyebrows as to the future of De Gea in England. With Real Madrid batting their eyelids at David, United fans are getting worried that United will sell yet another lynchpin to the Madrid side.
Considering the fact that De Gea hails from the Atletico side of town, it is quite unlikely he would suit up for Real. However, stranger things have happened in Spain, such as Luis Figo’s transfer from Barcelona to Real, etc.
De Gea once complained of homesickness during his first season. With his girlfriend and family all based there it is understandable that he would want to return; but considering his meteoric rise as United No. 1, he would undoubtedly be much better served if he continues in his rich vein of form at United.
Talks that United are working on a contract extension mean little as Real have shown that it is a weak deterrent from their advances.
I believe the only real way they can convince De Gea to stay is by protecting him with a calibre of defenders who are able to provide the bedrock for another extended run at the title and (whisper it) the Champions League trophy.
His maturity and composure should be something that United would leverage on in their contract discussions. And the fact that he is surrounded by his countrymen (Herrera and Mata) as well as Spanish speakers (Falcao, Valencia and Di Maria) should make living in Manchester much more livable compared to previous seasons.
Valdes’ introduction would probably mean the end of Anders Lindegaard’s United career though as his presence in the United squad has gone the way of Tomasz Kuszczak, Roy Carroll and Ricardo Lopez. You can’t even compare Anders to the ultimate backup keeper – Raimond Van der Gouw.
Here’s to hoping that De Gea remains at Old Trafford for a mighty long time.