In the lead up to the reverse of a fixture that saw a David De Gea error prove costly as United lost to Blackburn earlier in the season, Sir Alex Ferguson has come out in the press in praise of his young stopper.
In the run-up to the Premier League clash with Blackburn Rovers, Fergie said (talking about the loss earlier in the season) “He didn’t let it get to him and is playing with confidence. It took him time to adapt to the different ways of the English game and he is showing that now.”
De Gea was a big money signing in the summer, and came in as a replacement for retiring legend Edwin Van Der Sar, and came in for a lot of criticism early in the season. Ferguson stuck by his young keeper for a lot of the onslaught his performances brought, including performances in the thrashing at the hands of Man City, and a string of poor European performances. The criticism was, in my opinion, harsh. David became the second most expensive keeper in history behind Gianluigi Buffon when United paid £18million for him, and of course a fee this high commanded a huge amount of expectation, with many fans fearing a Juan Sebastian Veron style flop. Considering De Gea is just 20 years old, critics could have a big impact on his development as a player, but he has begun to answer those critics with some brilliant displays.
In recent weeks De Gea has impressed with the shot stopping ability and the brilliant distribution that saw The Red Devils pay all that cash for him, and Fergie has been keen to come out in public and praise the Spaniard, with the Blackburn game being a brilliant opportunity to do so; “The area where he’s been criticised was the aerial ability in the box,” added Ferguson. “He should have dealt with the last corner against Blackburn better. He knew that. He has addressed that section.”
Youngsters are commanding some ludicrous transfer fees in modern football and perhaps the inexperienced De Gea is an example of this, but we still have to give them patience, and hopefully with De Gea, the time taken to settle in is a small price to pay for years between the united sticks.