In safe hands: David de Gea profile



Having played less than 100 competitive first team games, Manchester United’s €20 million acquisition of Atlético Madrid’s David de Gea represents a significant risk. Indeed, in replacing Edwin van der Sar with a callow youth – de Gea is not 21 until November – Sir Alex Ferguson is taking a potentially huge gamble next season. But it’s a risk that is almost certainly worth taking, with the Madrid-born stopper offering the potential to be the world’s best in his position.

de Gea’s move comes after Old Trafford scouts followed the ‘keeper for almost two years as the Spanish under-21 international grew from ‘B’ level football at the start of the 2009/10 campaign, to the cusp of the World Cup squad nine months later. Those observers, which included Ferguson during the now infamous ‘scouting trip’ to Valencia last autumn, have witnessed a player mature from the kid who led Spain to the under-17 World Cup final in 2007, to a ‘keeper of authority and composure at Atlético.

Indeed, de Gea’s uncanny likeness to van der Sar will provide reassurance to supporters and team mates alike, despite the player’s lack of experience. At 6′ 5″, with a seemingly unflappable personality, many feel de Gea possesses both the physical and mental attributes to make it at Old Trafford.

Certainly, Ferguson expressed few doubts when United broke the official media silence after Gary Neville’s testimonial in late May.

“We’ve been working on it for quite a while. We identified him quite a while back as one we should go for,” admitted the 69-year-old United boss.

“He’s a young goalkeeper, very quick, good composure, presence and an outstanding replacement for Van der Sar. We were looking for the same type of qualities as Edwin, because the one great quality Edwin always had was his composure and organisational ability. With David De Gea, he is very similar that way.”

Although the deal is now in place with both Atlético and the player the official announcement will take place after de Gea has officially terminated an agreement with his current agent Hector Rincon on 31 June. In all probability the Madrileño will sign on with Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute – the agency that brought United Nani, Anderson and Bébé – and be unveiled to the media on Friday 1 July, when the international transfer window opens.

In the meantime planning is well advanced for de Gea’s introduction to Manchester, with the inevitable culture shock that the move will bring. The youngster is moving to England with his parents and popstar girlfriend Edurne. The player’s London-based sister will also help integrate the family into English life, according to those close to the deal.

However, it has been a difficult campaign at Atlético as the player’s form suffered under the weight of pressure, both from United’s spring offer and inevitable ‘season season syndrome’. Mistakes have come aplenty as Atlético shipped 53 goals in La Liga, missing out on a place in Europe next season.

Yet, few observers believe that de Gea is anything bar top class, including those closest to the 20-year-old.

“This has been an irregular season. He’s had his head confused because of all the rumours. At times he didnt sleep well but we’ve seen what a marvelous talent he is,” Spanish pundit Guileme Balague told Talkradio recently.

“I’ve spoken to van der Sar about him and said ‘what do you think of him?’ He said: ‘he’s got everything’. He is van der Sar. The man can play the ball. He’s very tall, his heart goes very slow, he doesn’t get the tension.”

However cool-headed, de Gea will inevitably come under huge pressure to perform at United, with every mistake scrutinised by the media and fans alike. After all Atlético – Spain’s ‘third club’ – is rarely in the running for the country’s major honours in an age of Real and Barcelona’s Spanish duopoly. This despite lifting the 2010 UEFA Europea League and Vincente Calderon’s notoriously demanding fans.

Former Red Ricardo López, who played just five games for the club over three years, says that de Gea’s personality will see him through the inevitable tough times ahead.

“De Gea doesn’t have nerves. I’m convinced that De Gea is good enough to play for Manchester United,” claimed Ricardo.

“He’s big, quick and his concentration is at a high level throughout the game. He’s comfortable with high balls and is very confident despite being so young.
 There are very few goalkeepers who can deal with that.

 Some goalkeepers need to feel the confidence of the manager. De Gea is the type of goalkeeper who can give the manager confidence.

“He does not worry when he plays against Barcelona or Real Madrid. That is a good sign because some goalkeepers become nervous when they play in front of big crowds in the biggest stadiums like Old Trafford.”

Before de Gea makes his Theatre of Dreams début he will represent Spain at this summer’s Euro Under 21 championships in Denmark, appearing against England in the group stages. The tournament will offer an early view to those Reds curious about the new signing, including new team mates Chris Smalling, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck.

Quick Facts

David de Gea Quintana

Born: Madrid, Spain 7 November 1990

Appearances:
- Atlético B: 35
- Atlético Madrid: 84
- Spanish age groups (U15, U17, U20, U21): 39

Honours:
- FIFA U-17 World Cup Runner-up: 2007
- UEFA Europa League: 2010
- UEFA Super Cup: 2010
- UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2011

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  • captainhormone

    “In all probability the Madrileño will sign on with Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute – the agency that brought United Nani, Anderson and Béné”

    Bene hey…is his career at a “crossroads” then?

    lololololoololollllollihuytf u5rd76ed55

    ygufbno

    ROFLMAFAO X125578

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      I’ll get my coat

  • naz

    Manuel Neuer went to Bayern for considerably less. The fee is an awful lot for someone so inexperienced.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      Naz – Fee is the release clause. I believe Neuer’s fee is up to €25m.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    look I just think how can we be sure we aint buyin david van day

  • Wik

    Not getting a good feeling if united buys De Gea. Never seen him play honestly but if united thinks he’s got the potential then more likely than not, he’ll be a good player. But I just don’t understand why get such a young keeper to fill VDS’s gloves!? The pressure could kill him once he makes one or two mistakes. Then there’s Lindegard who was said to have the potential to be no.1. If that’s true shouldn’t united get an experienced world class player for Lindegard to learn from?! Buffon? Or even fridel!?

    My gut feeling is de gea plays for united a few years and then he’ll be bought by Madrid to fill in Cassilas. Another glazernomic project but is this what really united should do?

    • Zombie Cucumber

      Hmmm. Never seen him play, don’t know anything about him except his age and you have a bad feeling he won’t work out. And if he does work out, he won’t stay.

      Have you considered just shutting up?

  • Ashish

    Utd are taking a risk……but if De Gea performs admirably well then…hey salud :-D

  • reddread

    Anyone else think this deal may still fall through? There is an awful lot of assumption that the deal is done. I have a nasty feeling we still might be gazumped by one of the usual suspects.

    Re the player, I see no reason why he can’t fit right in. He clearly comes highly praised by his contemporaries and commentators alike. How old was Cech when he arrived at Chelsea? 22, 23? A year or two older, I know, but still very young for a keeper to come to a new Premier League team, and he has been generally awesome for them. The old adage ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’ springs to mind.

  • bman

    I’m very excited about this signing. Unlike just about every other signing in the past few seasons, I think we went for De Gea because we considered him the best, not because he was cheap or convenient.

    The combination of a young good distributor as a GK with our ball-playing defenders (Smalling, Varane if he comes) is promising sign: it means our defense will contribute to the whole team’s attack and possession.

  • triggs

    I think this will prove to be an excellent signing.

    This signing along with Smalling, Hernandez, Da Silvas and Varane are securing United’s future for the next ten years. We just need a special midfield talent too.

  • fazal

    Watched him many times during last season on TV. The guy is just impressive:the way he moves across his line, comes out to block, catch the ball, organise his defence etc. He’s simply much more mature than his age would allow. He’s a natural talent and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t make it at OT.
    The only issue is the pressure but he’s experienced for his young age and there’s nowhere better for a young player than OT. But he’s done a lot in his short career and there’s nothing to suggest he’ll simply fade away.
    Im very excited at the prospect of seeing him at OT. We could have an ideal keeper for the next 15yrs!

  • http://none ian

    Very odd. SAF, more or less, claims he has been signed; de Gea insists that he has not. De Gea has made no sounds to link him to OT; how do we know that he will not have a rethink? It will not be clever if we have egg on our face & no replacement come July.

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      Ian – de Gea didn’t say that. His lawyer/agent who is getting fired did… and then de Gea said (In Spanish so deliberately poor translation) that he wouldn’t “speak” about his future until after Euro Under-21s. Deal with de Gea is done and will be announced after 1 July.

  • sidney

    Yeah

    What’s he being a cunt for

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    why wait til then, im too excited

  • Zi Indefatigable

    Eric Steele is learning Spanish via Rosetta Stone. So are a few other coaching staff.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    sidney said:
    Yeah

    What’s he being a cunt for

    It’s a big deal, making this move… and I just think he wants all the press to fuck off and leave him alone till after the Euros…

  • sidney

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    It’s a big deal, making this move… and I just think he wants all the press to fuck off and leave him alone till after the Euros…

    I reckon the press would leave him alone if he confirmed he was going to sign for United

    Unless he feels that it would put him under more pressure during the Euros – especially if he fucks up, and he’s going to be United’s number 1

    Or he could be using the Euros as a shop window

  • http://none ian

    You are an optimist Ed; perhaps you’re right. As I see it United & Atletico have agreed a deal, but de Gea, as far as I am aware, has not suggested that he is keen to come to United. Perhaps he he thinks that he will benefit from another year in Spain; perhaps he prefers Italy to England, ………
    On the wider question I fear for the summer signings. SAF talks about two, or possibly three (one being a GK). Young does not address either of our big problems & Sneijder could be another Juan Sebastian …. Perhaps everything will work out but now is the time for decisive management; is SAF capable of that?

    • Liam

      Gotta love that last question, is SAF capable of decisive management? Fuck me, what does the old fucker have to do to convince some people? 25 years at utd, 12 leagues, 2 CL, perhaps another league cup or community shield will be enough to convince you???? Lol!!

  • baloo

    @Ian – sorry fella, I don’t know you, but are you being serious with your last question, because if not you sound like a clueless knobhead. Is Fergie capable of ‘decisive management’ !? Fuck me…..

  • captainhormone

    lol

  • herbie simms

    DeGea has never ever mentioned at anytime that he was keen on playing for Man Utd. Even today, he does not seem to be sure of what he really wants to do. He is very young.
    Most of the other United targets have come right out and stated they would be interested in playing for United if the club is interested in them and if an agreement can be reached. DeGea could be a bit nervous coming to United because he is young and a lot is expected of him, especially as United is a very big club and he may feel he is not ready yet to take this big step up. Remember, he is going to be put in the number one spot to replace Van de Sar and at such a young age, is he really ready for this?

    • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

      Herbie – the deal is done. He took his time and made a decision. The doubts expressed in the press were a) driven by an agent who is getting fired b) deliberately misinterpreted (at ko point did he say his future was not decided)

  • Ashish

    Why would Fergie talk so openly of a player when a deal is not done?

  • http://none ian

    “Decisive management”????? SAF is brilliant at many things, but like us all not as good at others. Loyalty to his players is a great strength, but it can work both ways. Now is the time to buy two outstanding midfielders; maybe the defensive midfielder with the potential to be outstanding. But action needs to be taken with Bebe, Obertan, Carrick, Fletcher, O’Shea, Gibson, Berba & maybe Anderson. (How many would make the Barca third XI -Berba excepted?) Despite the public image Fergie is an old softie with faithful players.
    It seems obvious to me that the quality of the coaching right through the club is not good enough. Fergis is not a coach. Bringing in someone like Villa Boas & dispensing with Phelan -undoubtably a nice fella- McLair & McGuiness would be a massive step forward. He is even more of a softie with staff who do not cause trouble. All the talk of Young makes me tremble.

    • Violent Banana

      You sir are a fool.

  • baloo

    What Violent Banana said (there’s not something you say ever day)

    And I stand corrected…..you don’t SOUND like a clueless knobhead……

  • Spudiator

    Blog Commenter said:
    “Decisive management”????? SAF is brilliant at many things, but like us all not as good at others. Loyalty to his players is a great strength, but it can work both ways. Now is the time to buy two outstanding midfielders; maybe the defensive midfielder with the potential to be outstanding. But action needs to be taken with Bebe, Obertan, Carrick, Fletcher, O’Shea, Gibson, Berba & maybe Anderson. (How many would make the Barca third XI -Berba excepted?) Despite the public image Fergie is an old softie with faithful players.
    It seems obvious to me that the quality of the coaching right through the club is not good enough. Fergis is not a coach. Bringing in someone like Villa Boas & dispensing with Phelan -undoubtably a nice fella- McLair & McGuiness would be a massive step forward. He is even more of a softie with staff who do not cause trouble. All the talk of Young makes me tremble.

    You’re talking shite now. Irrespective of what some on here may think of some or all of the players you listed, you cannot clear out that many players at once and expect their replacements to gel. We’re not Chelsea or City, the reason why clubs like them will never, ever find anything vaguely resembling long-term success is because they lack what we have most of all, consistency, and I’m not just talking about consistency of the team performance (although obviously that helps), but consistency within the dressing room. Evolution, not revolution. I don’t doubt the majority of the players listed will be gone from the club within a few years, but if you get rid of that many at once all you succeed in doing is disjointing the club.

  • http://none ian

    I’m not saying that all of them should go; that will not happen; maybe it should not happen. But unless we buy two top quality midfielders, to play in the A-team, we will be going backwards. That means removing the dead wood & giving prospects like Cleverley, Tunnicliffe, Pogba & Morrison a chance to prove whether they are good enough. Phil Jones looks to be a very good prospect but I cannot see him, next season, as the defensive midfielder we need who can pass the ball accurately & always to be in position to shuttle the ball forwards.

  • vlad

    He’s got a nice girlfriend, this Edurne.
    Thank you for the link Ed =))

  • ltel

    you really are a spastic

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  • smartalex

    An excellent article Ed, informative and well written.

    It seems likely that David de Gea has to wait until his arrangement with Hector Rincon is concluded before announcing his move to Old Trafford, as there may be contractual obligations in play. Also, David is wise to wait until the Euro Under 21 championships are concluded, else he may be considered by his people press to have lost focus on his task at hand. Loyalty to his country’s call is commendable.

    Well done United, David de Gea is an excellent acquisition.

  • Dinkinflicker

    I’m not convinced it makes sense. United seem to have gone for a young keeper, with a view to the longer term. Given this lads background though, even if things go well all that’ll happen is that in 3 or 4 years Madrid or Barca will nip in and take him.

    I can’t shake the feeling that we’d be better with a steady eddie, like a Stekelenburg

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Yep he probably is going to be tempted back to Spain at some stage. Stekenlenburg would see this as the big move of his career.

  • triggs

    Dinkinflicker said:
    I’m not convinced it makes sense. United seem to have gone for a young keeper, with a view to the longer term. Given this lads background though, even if things go well all that’ll happen is that in 3 or 4 years Madrid or Barca will nip in and take him.

    I can’t shake the feeling that we’d be better with a steady eddie, like a Stekelenburg

    So, are you saying that we shouldnt buy any player that may attract big clubs in the future?

    Yeah, we should just buy players who are slightly below the top quality because there’s no danger of them leaving.

    We’ve just bought the best young GK in world football and people are moaning about it. We could have got cheaper options like Adler or Steke, but we didn’t, we went for the best available.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    But is he the best available? Potentially he might be, is he better than the Dutchman at present.

  • Dinkinflicker

    triggs said:
    So, are you saying that we shouldnt buy any player that may attract big clubs in the future?

    Yeah, we should just buy players who are slightly below the top quality because there’s no danger of them leaving.

    We’ve just bought the best young GK in world football and people are moaning about it. We could have got cheaper options like Adler or Steke, but we didn’t, we went for the best available.

    I haven’t seen anything of him, so I don’t know if he’s the best available. If he comes in, nails the position and gives several years of outstanding service and leaves for a big fee then I ain’t gonna complain. My worry is that we’ll spend several years developing him, bearing the brunt of his mistakes as he develops only to see him fuck straight off to spain when Madrid or Barca come calling. If he’s genuinely the best there is then thats fine, but if the strategy is about saying ‘we’ve signed a keeper that could be in our goal for the next 15 years’ then I have doubts, because from the admitedly few quotes I’ve seen from him, he doesn’t seem too endeared to the thought of moving to England and setting up home for a prolonged period of time. Time will tell I suppose.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    I agree. Expecting De Gea to be our keeper for the next 15+ years is a bit of a long shot.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    we used to sign only british and scandi cause they see utd as the ultimate, most of our squad now would jump at a move to spain, except the ones who aren’t good enough, and wayne

  • ltel

    the tax laws over here really fuck us up, as does the weather

  • triggs

    ffs only on this forum could fans find negative connotations from this signing.

    jesus wept.

  • triggs

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    and wayne

    ha ha ha

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I don’t know what you lot are whinging about… there are no guarantees, no matter who we sign… we could sign Buffon, and still wind up with a dud, cause he can’t cope with the PL agressiveness, or he loses his lust for the game…

    We won’t really know what we’ve got until he’s weighed and measured in games… but Fergie and co have been thinking about who would replace VDS for a long time, and rumour is, they’ve been scouting DeGea for over 2 years… have a bit of faith… Fergie has made some really shite signings in his time, but his record with defenders is outstanding, and he’s done fairly well with keepers as well… a couple real turkeys, when he was pressed… but when he’s had time, and got the keeper he really wanted he’s done well.

  • captainhormone

    has he heard of the position called midfield by any chance?

  • Pikey McScum

    I thought he was another…fecking…defender!?

  • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

    Let's just bump this up to the top shall we. de Gea in Manchester today for a very poorly hidden medical

  • baloo

    Very funny

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Village Secruity Inc.

  • reddread

    Hahahahaha! What the fuck do they think they are playing at? Fucking Joeys. Unless he has an awesome turn of pace and just left them standing. Always useful in a goalkeeper…

  • sidney

    That’s a fail

  • triggs

    That is pathetic – I’m guessing the secrecy is tied-in with all this dodgy agent change shit

  • Dinkinflicker

    At least it was a clean sheet. Gotta be a good omen…

    I’ll get me coat.

  • sheesh

    reddread said:
    Fucking Joeys.

    Please explain?

  • reddread

    Joey Deacon. A popular insult in playgrounds in the late 70s and early 80s. Google Joey Deacon Blue Peter to see where the origins lie. It is quite cruel…

  • madredmonkey

    It’s finalized at last, think he will do well.

  • reddread

    I am optimistic about this signing. That is all

  • captainhormone

    me too…….. optimistic as fuck

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    as fuck!

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