David De Gea’s brilliance was on full display on Saturday, as a masterclass on goalkeeping was delivered by the Spaniard against Arsenal.
Despite being the better team, Arsene Wenger’s men were denied several goals by De Gea, who made a record 14 saves in the span of the ninety minutes to ensure that the Red Devils sailed comfortable past with a 3-1 victory.
His performance has led many to crown him the best in the world, and it certainly seems apt. As a result, the story of how Sir Alex Ferguson signed the ace seems even more incredible now.
Writing for the Daily Mail, former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele reveals: “I can only remember Sir Alex Ferguson missing two United matches. He missed a Manchester derby in 2000 for his son’s wedding. The other time? To scout the brilliant David de Gea.”
What an accurate choice that has since proven to be.
“I was convinced that a 19-year-old De Gea was the right man to replace him. I showed a three-minute DVD compilation to Sir Alex and then we went to watch him play for Atletico Madrid at Valencia on the night United played Scunthorpe in the League Cup.”
Further, it turns out that De Gea was no less impressive back in those days, as Steele opined: “Sir Alex knew he was the right signing inside 65 minutes. David showed composure, concentration and reflexes.
“He made one terrific save that went through a load of bodies. Sir Alex did not criticise him. Not once. He left him out at some stages and put him back in but he never shouted at him or put him down.
“And just look at David now! His outstanding quality has always been his calmness and on Saturday night, amid all the penalty-box mayhem, he was a beacon of tranquility. He is the calmest man on the field.”
This goes on to show how spot on Sir Alex Ferguson was when it came to finding talent, and this scouting trip, in particular, is one that has paid a great dividend over and over again for the Old Trafford outfit.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.