You will get mixed reactions if you ask Manchester United fans about David de Gea, but there is no denying that the Spaniard has been a fantastic servant to the club.
It has been a record-breaking season for the goalkeeper, though there appears to be more critics than ever before with many suggesting Manchester United need a goalkeeper who can play out from the back.
In February, De Gea beat Peter Schmiechel’s longstanding record of 180 clean sheets for United when he kept out Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
And, when United travel to the London Stadium tonight, De Gea will make his 540th appearance for the club. That will see him overtake Alex Stepney, who played 539 games for the Reds – a record that has lasted 45 years.
United are understood to be working on a new deal for De Gea, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
While some fans would like to see Erik ten Hag sign a new goalkeeper in the summer, the man who recommended De Gea to Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill before he moved to Old Trafford in 2011 thinks he can remain as United’s No.1 in the coming years.
“He’s still in his prime,” former Manchester United goalkeeper coach Eric Steele told the Daily Mail. “He’s still young as a goalkeeper but look at the experience. He’s not going to be far off 550 games by the end of the season, and that’s at 32 years of age.
“I wouldn’t want him to be lost to Manchester United and the Premier League. Hopefully they will get this deal sorted and he stays part of the Ten Hag era.
“It’s down to David and the club. I think it’s about time it was sorted. We keep hearing it’s going to be resolved but we’re in May now. His contract runs out at the end of June. It would be nice to have an announcement to say which way it’s going.
“All I can say is that I would be very saddened to lose David after the 12 years he’s given.”
Steele explains that he will be proud when De Gea beats Stepney’s record tonight, adding: “In terms of every record he seems to be breaking, he’s been phenomenal and no-one is more proud then me. When he beats Alex Stepney’s record that is something that will put him in the history books at Man United forever.”
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