There has been a lot of speculation over the past week regarding the future of Manchester United’s goalkeeper, David de Gea. Many media outlets are reporting that Real Madrid are likely to pursue their interest in the Spanish goalkeeper, either during this transfer window or in the summer. And with the Independent suggesting de Gea will be available for £50 million; this begs the question, should United cash in on their number one with Victor Valdes waiting in the wings?
There is no doubting that de Gea has been United’s standout player this season, saving them from countless situations and winning points on his own. Without him it is very possible United wouldn’t be in the top four, suggesting what a great influence he has been this season.
The Spanish international joined the Red Devils from Athletico Madrid in 2011 for around £18 million at just 20-years of age. He endured a difficult first season at Old Trafford, with many experts stating that de Gea wasn’t ready to be the number one keeper at United. But in his second season he helped United secure their 20th and last top flight title to date, putting in a much improved season.
Over the past 18 months or so, de Gea has proven to be one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, if not in World football. But now with over 150 United appearances under his belt, it might be time for him to leave for bigger and better things at Real Madrid. Madrid are in search for a long term successor to Iker Casillas and, at 24, de Gea seems like the perfect man to take over.
With the Red Devils obviously reluctant to sell now, the summer will more than likely be the best time to consider cashing in in order to get the most money for him. If the rumoured £50 million price tag is accurate then it would make de Gea comfortably the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of the game. De gea has 18 months left on his current Old Trafford contract and it is not guaranteed that he will sign a new deal.
So with that in mind, and Financial Fair Play forcing the need to function at a profit, selling de Gea might not be a bad option, especially for the astronomical fee reported. They shouldn’t stand in the Spaniard’s way should he want to leave and it isn’t the end of the world, not with another world-class goalkeeper ready to take over.
Victor Valdes has been one of the world’s most outstanding goalkeepers in the last decade or so. At 33, he still has plenty of years left in the game at the very highest level. He made over 500 appearances for Barcelona, winning six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and two Club World Cups. Valdes will go down as one of, if not the, best goalkeepers in Barcelona’s history. Whilst Barcelona had a world-class defence, Valdes often bailed his team out with quality and consistent performances that made him so highly regarded.
He was one of a host of world-class players for Barcelona and, despite injury ruling him out for the best part of a year, there is no doubt that he can still put in those types of performances for United in the Premier League. Valdes also has a lot more experience than de Gea, especially in big matches, which would benefit Van Gaal’s side should de Gea leave the club. There’s also no doubting that Valdes is at a very similar level to de Gea quality wise, with Valdes’ experience perhaps just edging it in terms of being the better goalkeeper. That might be an unpopular statement, but it’s accurate nonetheless.
If David de Gea was to leave for United, either now or in the summer, then Victor Valdes is exactly the type of goalkeeper Van Gaal would want to call upon as a replacement.
Baring in mind Valdes is already at the club, then it might not necessarily be a bad thing if de Gea left.