Following an eleventh-hour standoff, David De Gea’s proposed transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid fell through, with the subsequent blame game dominating the European press.
The Spanish goalkeeper’s desire to return to his homeland has been apparent for some time now, with the fact that he was unwilling to extend his contract at Old Trafford testament to this wish.
With less than 12 months left on his current deal with Louis van Gaal’s men, there is still an inevitability that De Gea will end up at the Santiago Bernabeu sooner rather than later, whether it be in January or next summer.
While the transfer saga has unfolded over recent times, United have made a relatively underwhelming start to the new campaign, with the wantaway keeper watching on from the sidelines.
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Van Gaal has removed De Gea from competitive action following a mistake in pre-season against Paris Saint-Germain, with the Spanish custodian’s mental frame not in the right place for him to perform to his mercurial best.
However, despite the popular goalkeeper missing the first four Premier League games of the new season, the likelihood is that De Gea will be back between the sticks for United in the not too distant future.
Quite simply, it suits all parties.
There is no doubting that the player wanted a move to Madrid and will be disappointed and annoyed that his wish did not come to fruition.
However, with the prospect of many months watching football rather than playing it, De Gea will get over any feelings of hurt pretty quickly and will be refocussing on getting a starting berth for the club.
Although he will not want to miss out on prolonged periods of club football, De Gea also has international recognition to consider.
With Euro 2016 on the horizon in France next summer, the Spain international will not want to risk missing out on potential participation by sulking at Old Trafford.
From United’s perspective, if and when De Gea is ready to focus and commit 100 per cent to the campaign ahead, it will not be long before Van Gaal selects him.
Quite simply, the Spaniard is one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeper in the Premier League and was a key facet in the Red Devils finishing in the top four last season.
De Gea’s brilliance saved the club points on countless occasions and his presence in the side will lift everyone in the team.
His replacement Sergio Romero kept a couple of clean sheets in his first games in a United goal, but in the pressurised arena of the Liberty Stadium last weekend, did not cover himself in glory.
The Argentina international is certainly an able stopper, with an excellent record for his country.
However, with little experience of playing for a big club and clearly not as naturally gifted as De Gea, it will be an easy choice for Van Gaal when both are available.
The transfer saga has ended without a transfer, with business as usual in the United goal set to resume in the very near future.