De Gea wins Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award
David De Gea has been crowned the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for 2017/18, as voted for by Manchester United fans.
The coveted sculpture of Sir Matt is certainly in safe hands as the Spanish stopper has now won it more times than any other player in United’s history. It’s the fourth time in five seasons that De Gea has claimed the historic accolade, after becoming the first Reds star to win it in three consecutive seasons between 2014 and 2016.
There were more than 107,000 votes, with De Gea receiving two thirds of the final count (67 per cent). Jesse Lingard came second (10 per cent), while Romelu Lukaku was a close third (eight per cent).
De Gea, who arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011, succeeds his compatriot Ander Herrera in receiving the trophy, having enjoyed yet another outstanding campaign for the Reds. In his acceptance speech, he said: "It's difficult to put into words what Manchester United means to me. It's amazing to play for the club, the history, the fans, everything.
"It was hard in the beginning, but I believed in myself, I worked hard and I am proud of myself as well.
"I want to say thanks to everyone. I didn't expect to win this one. I have four, it's amazing for me and thanks again to everyone."
De Gea is also on course to claim a first Golden Glove, the award given to the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in a Premier League campaign. He currently leads the way with 17 shut-outs – two ahead of Manchester City’s Brazilian stopper Ederson - with three league games still to come.
The 27-year-old faced stiff competition for United’s Player of the Year gong from several team-mates but is undoubtedly a worthy winner, having excelled once again with some world-class contributions to help the Reds secure Champions League football for next season and a place in the Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley this season.
‘THIS HAS BEEN MY BEST SEASON’
De Gea has already expressed the fact he feels the current campaign has been the best of his seven seasons at United to date.
When asked if this season has been his best in a United shirt, he replied: “Yeah, I’m pretty pleased with my performance. It’s been a fairly complete, all round set of performances from me.”
His Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year predecessor Herrera also gave his backing to De Gea as his choice for United’s greatest-ever keeper, ahead of Edwin van der Sar and Peter Schmeichel.
“I cannot say anything other than David,” admitted Ander, in a recent episode of Table Football on MUTV. “For me, David is the best. He is the best I have trained with and sometimes, in training, it is funny because when he doesn't want us to score, we don't! So, for me, there is no doubt.”
From the remarkable intervention in the Champions League against Sevilla to his stunning double save against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, the keeper has made a number of spectacular stops that have often defied description.
De Gea – who won United’s Player of the Month award back in February – has established himself as arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, while cementing the no.1 jersey for both club and country.
His magnificent form in 2017/18 has also been recognised with an inclusion in the PFA Team of the Season for a fifth time and being nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, which was eventually won by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.