The David De Gea transfer saga seems to be one that will drag through the summer months, with Manchester United fans desperately refreshing Twitter to see if their star shot stopper will remain at the club.
With one year remaining on his contract and the fact that De Gea's girlfriend isn't fond of overcast Manchester well-known, his future seems destined to be spent at Real Madrid.
He is one of the finest goalkeepers in the world, that I cannot deny, and his impact at Old Trafford last season was arguably the most crucial to their return to the top-four.
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However, recent transfer activity and the players already present at the club lead me to believe that the loss of De Gea may not as critical as some people may think.
Last season United's defence was sub-standard. The constant injuries, lack of understanding, general quality and experience meant that De Gea was called upon far too regularly. His constant exposure due to United's ineffective defence meant that his qualities were crucial to the team and he ended up rescuing several matches and crucial points for the club.
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Razor sharp reflexes and a new found confidence made De Gea the finest goalkeeper in the division, while the rest of the side dwindled in mediocrity for large parts of the campaign.
However, Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward have done their best to try and eradicate the mediocrity in the club and therefore remove the over-reliance on the goalkeeping position.
Matteo Darmian's signing will be crucial to establishing solidity on the right-flank because it is clear that Antonio Valencia belongs further forward and Rafael da Silva is simply not good enough.
The combination of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin will also add significant steel and experience to what was an erratic midfield last season.
Nicolas Otamendi's signing seems only a formality as well, and the Argentinian is the world-class centre-half the club are crying out for. For me Otamendi would be the most crucial signing of all and could potentially turn United into title challengers.
Van Gaal has seen the faults in his side, and the over-reliance on De Gea was arguably the biggest. Thibaut Courtois was tested nowhere near as regularly as De Gea due to the defensive quality present at Chelsea and this is what Van Gaal is trying to achieve at United.
No need to be that good
The point I am trying to make is that De Gea's presence this season was arguably exaggerated due to the lack of quality in front of him. I agree that United will still need a world-class 'keeper despite their impressive signings, but they may already have one in Victor Valdes.
Let's not forget that for a time Valdes was seen as one of the finest in Europe and was a fan favourite at Barcelona. His international career was only hindered by the ever-great Iker Casillas, but he still remains a quality option.
He is a 'keeper capable of filling the void left by De Gea and I struggle to see how the former Barca man would be a significant downgrade. After all, this is a man who has won Champions League's and league trophies and is proven class. Replacements do not come much better.
No club likes to lose their best players, especially one like De Gea. However, United and Van Gaal are correctly preparing themselves for his inevitable departure and he may not be missed as much as some may think.
United fans, do you agree? Would losing De Gea be a huge blow to your chances of winning the Premier League?
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