De Gea sets sights on future after landmark
David De Gea is already looking at what’s to come for Manchester United, after reaching 500 appearances for the club.
The Spaniard became only the 11th Red – and second goalkeeper – to hit the landmark during Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
But rather than looking back on his stellar career with the club so far, our no.1 is focused on the future and he hopes to be part of an improving and reinvigorated team which can challenge for silverware as soon as possible.
“The main job is to try to reach the trophies and fight for them,” the 31-year-old told us, as part of an exclusive interview to mark his milestone.
“I won already some trophies here and it was amazing, the feeling, and for the fans as well. This is what we are trying to do.
“We’re trying to improve and be a good team and a proper team and then fight for big things.”
De Gea has been an ever-present under Erik ten Hag this season, as United have recovered from a tough start to win eight of our last 11 games in all competitions.
Five of those matches have seen De Gea and his defence prevent the opposition from scoring, and the former Atletico Madrid man believes confidence is building and the team spirit growing as we start to build a solid base under the new manager.
“I think we’re playing better,” David added. “We are winning some difficult games, keeping some good clean sheets as well. That’s super important for us and I feel it.
“The players want it more, we are hungry and that’s a good signal, so let’s keep doing well and keep fighting together.”
De Gea may have passed 500 games for now, but there are a couple of other considerable records on the horizon for him.
David is just 11 appearances away from overtaking Joe Spence and moving into the top 10 of our all-time list, while his 170 United clean sheets put him within sight of Alex Stepney (175) and leader Peter Schmeichel (182).
Those marks will topple in time but, for now, they are not the main concern for our goalkeeper.
Sir Alex pays tributeGallery
David De Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo were honoured by the club in pre-match presentations.
“Like I said before, it’s difficult to reach that many games,” he said.
“Clean sheets as well, every year it’s more difficult to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League so yeah I feel very, very proud and probably, like I said already, I’ll realise more when I stop playing football and check and say ‘look at what I did in this club’.
“But now it’s time to keep doing more: more games, more clean sheets and help the team even more.”