Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson thinks David De Gea will continue to improve and will return as United number one next season better than ever.

The Spanish stopper has come in for criticism since his £18m switch from Atletico Madrid, with a series of high-profile errors leading to suggestions Ferguson was considering ditching his young keeper.

But the Old Trafford boss has quashed such speculation by declaring that De Gea is ever improving, and that he expects him to return next season stronger.

Ferguson was quoted by talkSPORT as saying: “David has developed and matured as the season has gone on. We’ve seen a very progressive and developing young goalkeeper and next season he’ll be even better.”

The 22-year-old had a couple of shaky moments earlier this season but stamped his authority on the number one jersey with a couple of outstanding performances against Real Madrid in the Champions League – particularly in the first-leg at the Bernabeu.

Reports had claimed Barcelona were willing to offer him an escape route back to Spain, but he now seems set as United first-choice stopper.

Ferguson had rotated De Gea with Danish international Anders Lindegaard in the early part of the season, but De Gea has recently enjoyed a run in the team.

Manchester United face rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Monday evening knowing that a win would take them 18 points clear of last year’s title winners.


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