Life at Manchester certainly didn’t get off to a rosy start for David de Gea when he was signed as a 20-year-old to take over the legendary gloves of Edwin van der Sar in 2011.
Shelling out close to £19 million for a young keeper was almost unheard of at the time, but Sir Alex Ferguson firmly believed that the former Atletico Madrid stopper will turn out to be the perfect long term replacement for the veteran Dutchman.
As a youngster away on foreign shores, the Spaniard had a hard time settling in England and received a lot of stick from the press and critics who felt that he was too inexperienced to handle the pressure of wearing the No. 1 jersey for a club as big as Manchester United.
But like several of his other decisions, the transfer of De Gea turned out to be an absolutely masterstroke by Ferguson in the long run and almost 8 years after first turning up at the club, the Spaniard is now ranked amongst the best keepers on the planet.
Especially after the great Scot left and United struggled to reassert their authority in the league, De Gea has grown into a strong and reliable personality that his teammates can depend upon.
From being called a physically weak boy, the 28-year-old has developed into a strong character between the sticks and has almost single-handedly rescued points for the Red Devils on many occasions over the past few years.
His performance against Tottenham at Wembley last month was a prime example of what the Spaniard does for United on a regular basis.
Had Florentino Perez had his way though, David would have already been a Real Madrid player by now with the Spaniard being courted by the Los Blancos on multiple occasions and came pretty close to a move in 2015, only to be denied by a fault fax machine in the eleventh hour.
After his move to Madrid collapsed, the Spaniard ending up signing a new contract extension up to 2020 but recent reports seem to indicate that United have no intention of letting him go and are prepared to break the bank to convince him.
The Times claim the club want to reward his form with a new five-year deal worth in excess of £90 million, which would be the ‘largest basic pay package in Premier League history.’
If De Gea agrees to such a contract it would mean he would take home more than some of the biggest names in England including teammates Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.
While such figures seem to a bit exorbitant for a goalkeeper, it would represent a logical step in Ed Woodward’s long term vision for the club and as he has already proven to his critics over the years – Dave Saves and United will always look more secure with him between the sticks.