David de Gea has signed a new four year contract at Manchester United, with an option of a fifth year.
After a whole summer of speculation and also advanced activity, which went right until the final seconds of Deadline Day, the Spaniard has committed his future to the club, which is extremely pleasing for everybody associated with United.
If it wasn’t for Real Madrid submitting the relevant paperwork late on September 1, Deadline Day, then De Gea would currently be sitting in Spain’s capital.
Fortunately, this deal fell through at the final moments, meaning De Gea was set to remain in the Northwest for the final year of his contract, set to expire next summer.
However, after recent meetings between his agent Jorge Mendes, family members, and the United hierarchy, including CEO Ed Woodward, the 24-year-old has decided to repay the faith shown in him by the Old Trafford faithful.
Arriving from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, De Gea endured a tough start to life as a United player.
Replacing the great Edwin Van der Sar was always going to be difficult, let alone for a then 20-year-old coming from a foreign league, a league where the physicality isn’t as fierce as the Premier League.
This aspect of De Gea’s game was an issue, struggling to command his penalty area due to the language barrier, and failing to properly deal with set pieces or crosses into the box.
Mistakes early on led to intense media scrutiny criticising De Gea and the United board for paying a substantial amount for an unproven talent, especially in a position where any error is likely to lead to the conceding of goals.
But then manager Sir Alex Ferguson stood by his decision and his number one goalkeeper, adamant that he would come good, and he has been proven right ever since.
United’s 20th league title was secured in 2013, and De Gea was named in the PFA Team of the Year.
The man from Madrid also swept home the Player of the Year awards at United for 2014 and 2015, despite the time of transition taking place, with first David Moyes and now Louis van Gaal at the helm.
This led to Real Madrid stepping up their interest during the summer, hoping to prise away one of the world’s best keepers to lure him into a move back to his homeland.
De Gea was included on United’s pre-season tour of the U.S. but he featured in just the final two games, where he looked shaky at best, potentially distracted under the speculation surrounding the keeper and the club.
This led to Van Gaal subsequently dropping him for the entirety of August’s fixtures, as Sergio Romero deputised in the absence of United’s no.1.
A welcome international break arrived once the transfer deadline slammed shut, and De Gea was included in the Spain squad, featuring in their second game, a 1-0 qualifying victory over Macedonia.
This clean sheet will do De Gea’s confidence the world of good, and he can finally focus on his future, with an eye on the no.1 jersey for Spain ahead of next summer’s European Championships in France.
The fans have always stood by De Gea, who is also a popular member of the dressing room, where close friends Juan Mata and Ander Herrera will be thrilled to learn of this news, not to mention the rest of the squad.
Expect plenty of chants ringing around Old Trafford and the upcoming away venues in support and in favour of De Gea, where we hope he will continue his fine form from the past two seasons, and can grow into an even better goalkeeper going forward.