Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is currently the best in the world, according to club colleague Victor Valdes.
The former Barcelona stopper joined the Red Devils on a free transfer earlier this year, but is yet to get a first team opportunity because of the form of his positional rival at Old Trafford.
33-year-old Valdes is eager to show Louis van Gaal what he can do when the chance arises, but for now he accepts that a bench role is the best he can hope for because of the form of De Gea.
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"You are always waiting for your opportunity to play and train every day to show your performance to the manager,” Valdes told the official Manchester United website.
“But now David is in a very, very high performance level. I think he is the most important goalkeeper in the world in this moment. So it is difficult to play and, of course, I must accept this.”
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There is no doubting De Gea’s importance to the Red Devils, with a number of high-profile saves rescuing Van Gaal’s side during some difficult spells this season.
The 24-year-old’s impressive displays last season saw him named Players’ Player of the Year, and there is little to suggest he won’t scoop the prize once again this year.
Better than Neuer?
For Valdes, his performances have put him in the bracket above the likes of Manuel Neuer and Thibaut Courtois as the very best on the planet.
“For me, the top [keeper] now is David. I see him every day in training. I watch him every game, every week, and his performances right now are amazing. Every week, he makes saves to help the team so I am very happy for him and also for the fans,” concluded Valdes.
Valdes has hit the nail on the head regarding De Gea. His importance for Manchester United this season has been amplified by the number of saves he has had to make him. Where would the club be without him.
Additionally, he’s shown he’s compitent with the ball at his feet under pressure, having received more pass-backs than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.
De Gea has, over the past two-and-a-half season, grown into the player that Sir Alex Ferguson expected when he signed him from Atletico Madrid. He now truly can be considered among the very best goalkeepers in the world.
What do you think? Can David de Gea now be considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and is he better than the likes of Neuer and Courtois?