Goalkeeper David de Gea's stunning return to form has not caught Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson by surprise.

Ferguson spent £18million prising De Gea away from Atletico Madrid last summer, only to see the Spain Under-21 star commit a series of gaffes that ended with him being dropped after a particularly sorry performance against Blackburn in December.

It is hard to believe De Gea is the same keeper now he has recovered his confidence after a series of outstanding displays, and Ferguson said: "I expected him to make a contribution the minute he arrived at the club. Since he was a young kid, our homework on the lad has always been really positive."

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David de Gea