David De Gea has the potential to emulate the exploits of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar and establish himself as one of United’s finest goalkeepers.
That’s the view of former Reds stopper Gary Bailey, who feels United are blessed with a trio of exciting custodians. The South African, who played for United from 1978 to 1987, was particularly impressed by the Spaniard’s maiden season at Old Trafford.
“United are very well stocked; they’ve got three very good goalkeepers,” the South African told ManUtd.com. “Ben Amos has had a couple of games and I’ve been very impressed whenever I’ve seen him play. Anders Lindegaard looked really solid and reliable until he picked up an injury last season, and David De Gea has got a lot of talent.
“David is still very young and will mature – which a goalkeeper needs to do quickly – but with Eric Steele and the manager working with him, he is potentially one of United’s great goalkeepers. There could come a time where we’re talking of him in the same breath as Schmeichel or van der Sar.”
The 21-year-old inevitably took time to acclimatise to life in the Barclays Premier League, attracting widespread media criticism at times, but his form during the second half of 2011/12 demonstrated a growing understanding of the demands of English football.
“De Gea is the one who has the jersey at the moment, and the important thing for him was that he showed a lot of improvement during the course of last season,” said Bailey.
“In Spain strikers duck out of the way of the goalkeeper, but in England they almost look for an excuse to charge at you. It took him a little while to get used to that and understand it.
"He recovered very well under a lot of pressure, stood up, came back and earned the right to be first choice.”