David De Gea, the highly-rated 20-year-old goalkeeper from Atletico Madrid, will join Manchester United this summer in a deal worth in the region of £17m – as Football24Seven told you on April 1.
The 20-year-old De Gea, known for his athleticism and composure – the latter having impressed onlookers no end, especially considering the ground for showing his ability has been the Vicente Calderon, where Atleti fans are amongst the most fickle in Spain – is still yet to win a senior cap for Spain and is now the second most expensive goalkeeper in world football (only the purchase of Gianluigi Buffon by Juventus in 2001 for £32M usurps the fee for the young Spaniard.)
De Gea is expected to become the Manchester United number one as soon as he arrives at the club, and it is hoped that he will prove to be a mainstay of the side for the considerable future. The Spaniard replaces the veteran Dutch stopper Edwin van der Sar, who after six successful years at Old Trafford, will retire following this weekend’s Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping that the signing of De Gea will ensure that the club doesn’t experience the same problems it had in 1999, when Peter Schmeichel’s departure saw a number of goalkeepers fail to embrace being United’s man between the sticks, before the legendary Dutch ‘keeper’s arrival in 2005.
Ferguson confirmed the signing of De Gea on Tuesday evening, following the Gary Neville testimonial match at Old Trafford, hailing the “outstanding” De Gea as “similar” to Van der Sar.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while,” said Ferguson of his new signing.
“We identified him quite a while back as one we should go for. He’s young, very quick, good composure, presence and an outstanding replacement for Van der Sar.
“We were looking for the same type of qualities as Edwin, because the one great quality Edwin always had was his composure and organisational ability. David de Gea is very similar that way.”