DAVID DE GEA has arrived at Old Trafford and is reportedly undergoing a medical ahead of his move to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid. Here are some points of interest about the 20-year-old custodian…
- While de Gea became known to a wider audience after making his debut for Atletico Madrid in September 2009, he had already served notice of his talents in 2007. The then 16-year-old helped Spain to win the Under-17 European Championship with some outstanding performances. He conceded just two goals in five games.`
- That league debut, against Real Zaragoza, saw de Gea concede a penalty before pulling off an outstanding save from Marko Babic’s spot-kick. The home crowd roared, Atletico won the match 2-0 and de Gea remained a fixture in the first team. “To make my full debut at the Vicente Calderón was something very special. The team won and I stopped a penalty; I felt really comfortable between the posts,” he said afterwards.
- Comparisons with the departing Edwin van der Sar are handy, as de Gea ranks the Dutchman as one of his biggest idols along with another Old Trafford great, Peter Schmeichel. His team-mates at Atletico even gave him the nickname ‘Van de Gea.’
- Atletico started the 2009/2010 season with the next great Spanish international goalkeeper in their ranks, but it was not the future Manchester United netminder. Sergio Asenjo had been signed for £5million from Villareal amid much fanfare but made some costly mistakes in the opening games of the season, allowing de Gea in to make the goalkeeping position his own. As de Gea’s reputation soared, Asenjo’s career stuttered. He was last seen playing as a loan signing for Malaga in February, before injury cut his season short.
- As well as several woolly jumpers, a Mancunian phrasebook and a list of ‘don’ts and don’ts’ from Diego Forlan, de Gea comes armed with that staple accessory for young and successful footballers in England – a pop star girlfriend. We haven’t a clue what she’s singing about, but on a scale of 1 to Shakira, we’d give Edurne a solid 6.78.
- Expect lots of comparisons between these two next season, assuming Arsene Wenger doesn’t break the habit of a lifetime and make a signing.