Monday 18 January 2016

World class De Gea will become a United legend... if he stays

What does it take to become a club legend?

A proper one, I mean, whom will go down in history as one of the true greats.

Whatever is needed, David De Gea is surely heading that way.
Excelling in goal for an otherwise average United side, the Spaniard virtually stands alone in enhancing his reputation nearly every week as our one truly world class player.

He was at it again at Anfield yesterday. 

Granted, United's victory over Liverpool may not go down as one of his best days or even his busiest, but he was certainly central to deny our bitterest rivals, with an authoritative display capped by some crucial saves.

The first came via good positioning, when Emre Can's powerful drive from an angle flew through his legs but glanced off his calf to whizz inches wide of the near post.

The second save was a lot more spectacular as he dived full length to his right to tip away away a shot, again from Can.
With the danger not clear, De Gea sprang to his feet to claw the ball away from a waiting posse of players, very much in the image of Peter Schmeichel.

Schmeichel, of course, attained legendary status at Old Trafford, just as Edwin van der Sar did a few years later.
Now we see a player doing everything necessary to emulate those famous figures.

But what are the factors to consider when bandying the "l" word about?

What has to be achieved even to consider the term?

First, I think you must part of a trophy-winning team, not one merely just huffing and puffing around the fringes.

De Gea satisfies that criterion having won the league at United in his second season.

A debut campaign in England remembered for the nervy youngster flapping at crosses, for regularly getting bullied in crowded penalty areas, had been impressively followed by a much calmer time.

Even then, though, the Spanish stopper still had plenty to do.

By no means the finished article, De Gea would have to get better if he intended to go down in United folklore.
In the intervening years, however, a combination of hard work, loads of natural ability and sheer determination have elevated the lad to a level attracting the persistent attention of Real Madrid.

We all know the story of last summer's protracted transfer saga that, somehow, ended with De Gea staying at United.
Less clear is how he feels now about his future.

In a rare interview last week, he talked about Schmeichel and Van der Sar. 

"They are legends for this club and that is what I want" he said, sounding like a man with every intention of hanging around.

If he does stay in Manchester, that dream will come true. 

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