Manager Erik Ten Hag has thanked David De Gea after the legendary goalkeeper left Manchester United after spending over a decade at the club.
De Gea was signed by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011 to replace retiring Edwin van der Sar. With big shoes to fill, the young Spaniard initially struggled for United, however as days passed, he drastically transformed into a world class goalkeeper.
However, De Gea was criticised heavily in the past couple of years after his horrendous mistakes often led to the opposition scoring goals. He was also called out by several former players and pundits for his lack of ball-playing skills.
Despite winning the Premier League Golden Glove in 2022/23, the Spaniard’s contract was not renewed and hence he was left a free agent and eventually left the club, earlier this month.
During a recent interview with the club media, United manager Ten Hag thanked De Gea for his service and highlighted the goalkeeper’s legacy.
“It’s massive what David has done for us and for Manchester United. Last season he contributed so highly on our top-four position, to winning the trophy in the Carabao Cup and to reaching the final of the FA Cup.
“So, we are really grateful for what he did for us, and we highly respect him.”
Earlier this year, the 32-year-old broke Peter Schmeichel’s record of having the most clean sheets for United. The Spaniard also stands at No. 7 in the all-time list of players with the most appearances for the club.
“545 games, that’s huge. So many times he had the clean sheets because of his skills and he has done massive things for Manchester United and we all respect him,” added Ten Hag.
“Sometimes also, as a team, especially on the top, you move, it’s fluid, it’s dynamic, and you move in another direction, and it happens.
“And when you are [here for] 12 years at Man United, there then comes a period when players will come and go.”
Manchester United have already signed De Gea’s replacement Andre Onana, whose signing was made official on Thursday, July 20. In another interview, United’s Dutch manager also spoke about what Onana would bring to the table at United.
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