David De Gea has been getting a hard time recently, with many critics of the Spanish stopper suggesting he's not good enough to keep goal for Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson this morning labelled the 22-year-old's detractors "idiots" in his pre-match press conference, and statistics show that the Red Devils boss is right to protect his young protege, signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011 as the long-term successor at Old Trafford to retired goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
Some of De Gea's performances this season have attracted unwarranted attacks on his ability to cope with the physical nature of the English Premier League, not least after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, when the No.1 was deemed culpable for Clint Dempsey's last-minute equaliser, after failing to clear a corner.
However, according to WhoScored.com, the Manchester United custodian is in fact the fourth best goalkeeper in Europe this season, across all of the continent's top five leagues, based on his save success rate in 2012/13.
Taking into account all players that have made at least ten appearances, De Gea's 78.7 per cent ranks him second best in the Premier League, behind Swansea's back-up goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel - who boasts an 81.5 per cent save success rate - having filled in impressively for first-choice stopper Michel Vorm while the Dutchman was out injured earlier in the campaign.
Chelsea veteran Petr Cech is the only other Premier League goalkeeper to make it into the top ten - he's placed joint sixth with 77.2 per cent from 22 appearances for the Blues.
Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer takes first place with an astounding 85.1 per cent save success rate from 18 appearances for the Bundesliga giants. Neuer has kept a total of 12 clean sheets and only conceded seven goals this campaign.
By comparison, Tottenham Hotspur have the unwanted record of owning two of the ten worst goalkeepers in Europe this season, with 41-year-old Brad Friedel possessing disappointing statistics with a 55.8 per cent save success rate, ranking him in the bottom three. Summer signing Hugo Lloris is a little higher up the list with 61 per cent, but that still sees him placed as the ninth worst goalkeeper in Europe this season.
However, taking the limelight away from all the other under-par performers is Bastia goalkeeper Magno Novaes, who, in 12 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit this term, has conceded 29 goals, kept one clean sheet, and maintained a save success rate of just 50.8 per cent.
Check out a full list of the ten best and worst performing goalkeepers across Europe's top five leagues this season below, with all stats courtesy once again of WhoScored.com.
1. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) - 18 apps - 85.1%
2. Salvatore Sirigu (PSG) - 19 caps - 83.3%
3. Gerhard Tremmel (Swansea) - 10 apps - 81.5%
4. David De Gea (Manchester United) - 15 apps - 78.7%
5. Wilfredo Caballero (Malaga) - 20 apps - 78.7%
6. Ali Ahamada (Toulouse) - 20 apps - 77.2%
7. Petr Cech (Chelsea) - 22 apps - 77.2%
8. Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux) - 21 apps - 76.5%
9. Tono (Granada) - 15 apps - 76.4%
10. Fabian Giefer (Dusseldorf) - 18 apps - 76%
1. Magno Novaes (Bastia) - 12 apps - 50.8%
2. Dani Aranzubia (Deportivo) - 17 apps - 52.9%
3. Brad Friedel (Tottenham) - 10 apps - 55.8%
4. Sebastian Mielitz (Werder Bremen) - 18 apps - 59%
5. Steve Mandanda (Marseille) - 21 apps - 59.4%
6. Fabien Audard (Lorient) - 20 apps - 59.6%
7. Geoffrey Jourdren (Montpellier) - 17 apps - 59.7%
8. Michael Agazzi (Cagliari) - 18 apps - 60%
9. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) - 15 apps - 61%
10. Stefano Sorrentino (Chievo) - 20 apps - 61%
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