Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has heaped praise on David De Gea and commended the goalkeeper for improving his distribution this season.
Our no.1 produced a stunning performance on Sunday to help the Reds secure an important 1-0 win over West Ham United in the Premier League. He executed a string a world -class saves and his best was arguably saved for last with a flying stop to deny Declan Rice in the dying seconds.
A four-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, De Gea has always been admired for his shot-stopping abilities and there are arguably few better keepers in the world in that area – or none, if you ask us.
During David’s 12 seasons at United and 504 appearances, the position of goalkeeper has evolved significantly and stoppers are now expected to join in with the play more frequently. The 31-year-old has always been capable with his feet, of course, but the manager is a specialist in improving players and he has been delighted by the progress he has seen so far this season.
“So, everyone has their own opinion and their own philosophy,” said Ten Hag in his post-match press conference on Sunday evening. “For me, for a goalkeeper, you have to protect the goal and make sure you don’t concede goals. In that fact, he is magnificent.
“On the feet, for me, he has the capabilities as well. I think when you see this season, he is progressing from game to game on that part. And that has to do not only with the keeper.
“It has also to do with the ones in front, how you give the keeper the options to bring passes in, because when they don’t run free, or in the wrong moments, or in the wrong positions, then he doesn’t have the options to pass around.
“But I am convinced he can do it and I think the games so far prove that. I think he will improve from game to game on that part.”
During the same post-match press conference at the weekend, Ten Hag was asked about De Gea’s contract situation and the manager underlined his recent stance that all players’ deals will be reviewed in the near future. However, he was quick to state his admiration for David’s form.
“What we said about this issue with negotiating with the whole squad, we said, first, we will focus on this part of the season on the games,” Erik told reporters. “When we are coming to an end of this part, of this block, we go into a World Cup obviously and, of course, we have to think about it.
“In the background, of course we have our strategies, how to deal with it. But it is quite clear now already and I have emphasised it several times. I am really happy with David, he is a great goalkeeper. He is only 31, he is fit, he can progress even more, he was already impressive for Man United and will be in the future as well.”
- This is a big week for De Gea, of course, with United set to travel to his native Spain for a vital Europa League match against Real Sociedad.