Manchester United were unable to finish off Stoke City on Saturday afternoon and had to settle for a draw. A fighting performance from the Potters made Man United stutter a bit. Goals from Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku were not enough for the Reds to seal the win as Eric Choupo-Moting scored a brace.
It was a very entertaining match in which Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea showed his class once again. His save just minute before Stoke’s equalizer deserves loud praises. Jese Rodriguez was running forwards, when he got a ball from his left into space. He connected with the ball instantly and shot a little bit above De Gea from six yards out. Yet, the goalkeeper’s reaction was world class, saving the shot with his right arm.
De Gea Means World Class
This is something football fans are unanimous about. There is no debate if David De Gea is the world class goalkeeper he has been showing us for years he is. The only debate is if he is the best goalkeeper in the world right now.
— AhsanMUFC_ (@MufcAhsan) September 9, 2017
De Gea has been a first-team goalkeeper for eight years now. Bearing in mind he is about to turn 27, that is a great achievement. He also started out at a big club like Atletico Madrid and has imposed himself at Manchester United since his arrival in 2011.
His reflexes are what makes him stand out and the save against Stoke only epitomized that. He is great in one-on-ones, his shot-stopping is wonderful and is pretty good rushing out. Also, he is doing a great job with his legs, using them to stop tough shots from close range.
Comparisons To Manuel Neuer
Whenever a goalkeeper is to be talked about as the best in recent years, he is to be compared to Manuel Neuer. And is a tough task to find someone actually better than him. It is safe to say he is as good as De Gea in everything he does, though his rushing out and command of area are better than the Spaniards.
What also makes the case for the German keeper is the teams he played for. He won everything with Bayern Munich and is pretty much safe in winning a Bundesliga every season. Neuer also won the World Cup with Germany and his achievements in the game are far bigger than De Gea’s. Manchester United goalkeeper won Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League, which is not to be compared with Neuer’s titles.
Talking simply skills-wise, they are close. Neuer is generally a more all-round goalkeeper, someone who is the ideal sweeper-keeper of the modern era. What De Gea is better at is his reflexes and shot-stopping with his feet. Yet, De Gea is four years younger and in the meantime could very much catch up all of Neuer’s achievements.
A Decade To Come?
At 27 this coming November, David De Gea is still a young goalkeeper. We all know the peak years for keepers are in their thirties and the likes of Gianluigi Buffon or Edwin Van Der Sar show us they can play until they are forty.
Truly world class goalkeepers start playing regularly before they even turn 20 and play for two decades or so. It is what is in common for Buffon, Iker Casillas, Neuer and De Gea. He will probably have another ten years in his career and he has already showed how good he is.
Is he the best goalkeeper in the world right now? He is close but he is not the best yet. He would need to win the biggest trophies to be considered that. Good news? The Champions League starts on 12 September and the World Cup is just around the corner.