‘Eres numero uno’ were the words uttered from a jubilant Paul Pogba to David De Gea after that comeback win over City. It needed no translation or clarification. We have known for some time that David De Gea is the best in the business.
Wednesday was a memorable night for De Gea. Alright, under normal circumstances, a clean sheet against Bournemouth would not mean scaling new heights, but it led to De Gea keeping clocking more shutouts in a single season than previously managed. This feat came after he was selected in the PFA Team of the Year for the fourth time, keeping out Ederson who is waxed lyrical just as lavishly.
That was not enough for De Gea though. The crowning glory arguably lay in donning the captain’s armband round his considerably bigger bicep compared to the scrawny kid that arrived in 2011.
It symbolises his growing importance and is hopefully seen with one eye on the future: As good a performer as Antonio Valencia has turned into over the last few years, he has shown signs of decline recently and was always a curious choice to lead the side. He has never been particularly vocal or a master of the English language.
Speculation in today’s Daily Star has it that even De Gea, alongside Michael Carrick, has been acting as personal peacemaker in an attempt to extinguish the lingering tension between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho. The introvert from Madrid has well and truly come out of his shell now.
For as long as water will be wet, De Gea will be earmarked to return home one day. In truth, United have done exceedingly well to keep him out of their clutches for this long. Credit where it’s due though, De Gea has seemingly never angled for a move, even when talk was at its most intense. On the face of it, he appears settled and very happy in Manchester. I am not saying it’s a formality that De Gea will stay this summer, as you never know in football, but we should be confident that United will reject even the very notion of De Gea leaving.
The past week has illustrated perfectly how good United and De Gea have been for one another.
He has come a long way since those Edin Dzeko and Shane Long howlers and that catastrophic fumble to allow Grant Hanley to bundle in the winner for Blackburn in that costly defeat.
With sixteen months to go on his current deal, it’s time to secure the best in the world. That would be some coup for United.