A Spain Under-21 international, De Gea is the man who had the unenviable task of replacing Edwin van der Sar when the Dutch keeper retired in 2011.
Born in Madrid in 1990, De Gea is a product of Atletico Madrid’s Academy. Tall, athletic and confident with the ball at his feet, he progressed quickly through Atletico’s youth ranks and spent his first professional season with the club’s Reserves. A first-team debut arrived early in the following season when he made his senior bow as a substitute against FC Porto in the Champions League.
He retained his spot, became a regular
between the posts and his dream first campaign was capped with success in the Europa League as he played a major role in delivering Atletico’s first major European trophy in almost 50 years.
De Gea’s reputation was enhanced in his second full season in La Liga and rumours of United’s interest, which had existed since January 2010, gathered pace in September when the Reds' goalkeeper coach Eric Steele was spotted in Spain scouting the young stopper.
By the end of the 2010/11 season, he was touted by many media outlets as Sir Alex Ferguson’s top choice to replace Van der Sar, although talks were put