On Wednesday night Manchester United drew 2-2 at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground.
The game was an entertaining affair, but one thing that was noticeable was David de Gea’s performance in the United goal.
The young Spaniard may have had better games for vital saves and displays of goalkeeping brilliance.
However, in the West Ham game De Gea showed that the youngster is now more competent at dealing with the physical side of the English game.
The 22-year-old was clattered by West Ham striker Andy Carroll and went down injured. He rightly stayed down for a few minutes after a wholehearted challenge (to be kind) from the England international striker.
Last season De Gea would probably have gone off injured last season had that challenge taken place. The youngster clashed with Carroll later on in the game and came out on top. The West Ham game proved that he is starting to become more accustomed to the Premier League.
When David de Gea was at Atletico Madrid he was rated as one of the best young keepers plying his trade in Europe. A £17million move to Manchester United at just 21 looked to be too early for the youngster in some of last season’s games.
He looked lightweight and unable to deal with the physicality of the Premier League. This season though he has looked tougher and a far more capable keeper and David de Gea has all the attributes to be one of the world’s top goalkeepers.
He is very young for a goalkeeper, as on average most keepers do not hit their peak as players until their late twenties, early thirties. David de Gea still has many years of developing until he reaches his peak.
It now seems that the Spaniard is now undisputed number one at Old Trafford. Last season and earlier this season he rotated with Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard. However, it seems that he now has the confidence of boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
No doubt this confidence has helped De Gea’s belief that he truly belongs as the Manchester United number one.
The Spanish under-21 international has described Sir Alex Ferguson as a ‘father figure’. His relationship with the veteran Scot has obviously helped the youngsters’ performance. Ferguson has handled the youngster superbly.
He took De Gea out of the firing line when he needed it. Other people had doubts about the youngsters’ ability, but his manager has stuck with De Gea. It looks like that faith is now bearing fruit with good performances from the young keeper.
Speculation had been rife a few months ago that Manchester United was looking at bringing in Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic this summer. Recently though it seems that speculation has gone slightly quieter.
The speculation has gone quiet because of a variety of reasons, such as Stoke conceding a number of goals, not all Begovic’s fault I might add. De Gea’s form has also helped banished those rumours.
Begovic may still arrive at Old Trafford this summer, but he will by no means be number one and will have a fight on his hand to command a regular starting spot.
The questions marks over whether David de Gea is good enough to play for Manchester United now seem to be far less. The young Spaniard seems to be improving week by week and he now looks like he could be the long-term Manchester United number one.
Is David de Gea starting to fulfil his potential at Manchester United?