Date: 14th June 2011 at 2:05am
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At only 20 years old, David De Gea is already making a name for himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the world.

Despite his lack of experience De Gea has shown maturity and confidence on the big stage, as seen with his victory with Spain at the u17 European Championships, Atletico Madrid’s Europa League win in 2010 and their victory over Inter Milan in the Super Cup.

The 10/11 season was also impressive for the Spanish goalkeeper, out of the 38 games played he tallied up an impressive 11 clean sheets. He receives praise everywhere he goes with Spanish u21 team mate and Barcelona midfielder Thiago stating recently:

“De Gea will be the best keeper in the world in a few years.

“He has everything – the hands, strength and the feet. There is nothing in goalkeeping he is not brilliant at.”

Iker Casillas speaks with worry that he will soon be competing for his place in the national side with the 20 year old stating,

“Pretty soon, he (De Gea) will fight for my place. He is a great goalkeeper. We have to take care of him because he has a bright future. He is only 20 years old, I hope he does great things for his club and the national squad”.

Despite the praise aimed at him, his age and lack of experience is always going to be a talking point with United fans who have seen the best and the worst of goalkeepers come through the door of Old Trafford. The fans always want our next number one to be more in the ilk of Alex Stepney, Peter Schmeichel or Van Der Sar and less like Roy Carroll or Massimo Taibi.

At the reported £17.5 million fee the move may represent a risk but we have cast our eye over him numerous times and Sir Alex has decided that he is good enough to be our number one.

De Gea is by no means the complete article for example this past season De Gea conceded the most goals from outside the box in La Liga. This is just one element of his goal keeping education and no school is tougher than the Premier League with its more physical play and faster pace. So will De Gea be able to step up to the plate?

In my opinion the hardest position to fill is between the sticks, someone who is very vocal and can copy with the pace of the premiership is a must for any United player, let alone keeper. I approach an news of a goalkeeping acquisition with caution. As we saw with Schmeichel and Van der Sar the number one jersey is core to the team in both a defensive and attacking capacity and I believe that De Gea can grow into this role at Old Trafford.

Due to his lanky physique, agility and even looks, the players and staff at Atletico Madrid christened him ‘Van Der Gea’.

A good omen? Let’s hope so.

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This piece is courtesy of Rob West