Despite facing an unexpected barrage of criticism during his first season at Old Trafford, David de Gea has slowly but surely solidified himself in the Premier League as one of the best keepers playing in England. He has come on leaps and bounds since first signing for Manchester United in 2011, and whilst he looked naïve and impressionable during his debut campaign with the Red Devils, the Spanish shot stopper now seems very much assured, composed, and impressively confident in United’s No. 1 shirt.
Since becoming one of the first names on Louis van Gaal’s team sheet in recent months, the former Atletico Madrid man has seemingly attracted the attention of city rivals Real Madrid, according to reports in The Mirror, as Carlo Ancelotti attempts to maintain his side’s dominance in Europe. With Iker Casillas’ Madrid career approaching its twilight stages, now could be the perfect time for De Gea to move back to the Spanish league, and join what might just be another Madrid dynasty.
Whilst such a deal would certainly spark much sensation throughout the football world, to what extent do these rumours hold any validity? And just how well would David de Gea’s potential arrival at the Bernabeu go down in the Spanish capital?
Firstly, it is important to remember that these transfer stories can never be considered fully legitimate until players have officially signed on the dotted line. Louis van Gaal’s man between the sticks has been in fine form this season, and it would seem silly to expect him to be on the move as soon as the footballing community showers him in praise. As it is, if Real Madrid are seriously interested, it’s not hard to see how David de Gea’s head might be turned.
33-year-old Iker Casillas, with question marks raised over his credentials since the World Cup, isn’t expected to be Real Madrid’s first choice in the long-run. He may have made over 20 appearances for the league leaders this campaign, but his once untouchable reputation in La Liga is no more. Costa Rican favourite, Keylor Navas, has similarily struggled to convince the Bernabeu faithful that he should be wearing the No. 1 jersey this season, even if his exploits in Brazil this summer really were a joy to behold.
In light of such news, a proposed move to Real Madrid may be a really good option for David de Gea, should he see fit to end his time with Manchester United. The 24-year-old Spaniard could not only solidify his place as the first-choice keeper for the Spanish national side with a move to the La Liga giants, but playing for Real Madrid could also give him a chance to challenge Manuel Neuer for the title of the world’s best keeper.
Although the in-form shot stopper would certainly be well received at the Bernabeu, despite his links with rivals Atletico, the opportunity to return to La Liga should not necessarily bring an end to his spell with the Red Devils just yet. Manchester United remain a world renowned side, who, despite not having any guarantee of playing Champions League football next season, will always be able to give their Spanish shot stopper the type of stage his performances deserve. Louis van Gaal’s side have only lost four league games this season, and with De Gea continuing to contribute to their cause, there is no reason why Manchester United can’t progress further than they already have in 2014/15.
Whatever the future holds for United’s impressive goalkeeper, David de Gea is expected to continue in this vein of fine form and become the finished article that was often talked about during his debut season in the Premier League. As the chance to join Real Madrid will always prove tempting for any player, however, of Spanish nationality or otherwise, perhaps De Gea’s spell with United will ultimately fail to reach the long-term heights many among the Old Trafford faithful would have been hoping for.