Even as Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas was pulling up two very good saves to ensure Real Madrid made it to a third straight Champions League final, David De Gea stole his limelight in being bestowed with United’s player of the year award for the fourth time in just five seasons.
It is as much a damning indictment on the quality of defence in front of him, but once again it emphasised the brilliance of the man, now rightly widely lauded, not just in Manchester, as the best in the business.
Real Madrid’s fans, and probably board of directors, see De Gea as their fantasy man between the sticks. Thankfully, so do their United counterparts.
Just think, it could have been entirely different. The best technological fault ever to hit Manchester? You’d better believe it.
Gianluigi Buffon made a terrible aberration last month and I’m not referring to his treatment of referee Michael Oliver. No, he placed Navas in his top six keepers, unbelievably omitting De Gea, as per Sport Bible.
It further highlighted that De Gea has not been fully appreciated overseas, something the player himself has noted and a good reason why he has stayed loyal to United, after they initially stayed loyal to him.
Navas has a recent CV which trumps De Gea’s silverware wise, but he is only ever one mistake away from whistles, handkerchiefs, ominous headlines and talk of his replacement.
It’s not just De Gea’s name earmarked, though: Roma’s Allison, Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois and Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa have also had tentative associations with Florentino Perez’s courting mission.
De Gea has been nothing short of a godsend to United in recent years. While the iron is hot, and player in the year nestled in his impregnable hands, give the man a contract for life and the armband round his bicep.
One thing’s for sure, next to no fans are pining for Keylor Navas.
Image via 101 Great Goals