Remembering David de Gea's debut for Manchester United

Manchester United's Spanish Goalkeeper D

For many football fans, David de Gea’s incredible point-blank save from Joel Matip during Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool established the Spaniard as the best goalkeeper in the world.

It’s an opinion that United supporters would have had before the match but after De Gea’s heroics in Saturday’s clash, a few more people now share that view.

One of those people that thinks there isn’t a better ‘keeper in the world right now is Jamie Carragher.

Speaking on Monday Night Football alongside Peter Schmeichel, the former Liverpool defender admitted he would name De Gea in his World XI.

"I think he is the best goalkeeper in the world," said Carragher. "Peter is the greatest Premier League goalkeeper but De Gea is second.

“Obviously I don’t know as much about goalkeeping as you, but from what I see, if I was picking a world XI, David de Gea would be in it. 

“We’re saying tonight we have the greatest Premier League goalkeeper here, I think De Gea is second. 

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

But when De Gea arrived at Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £18.9 million, there weren’t too many people that thought the 20-year-old would go on to become the best goalkeeper in the world.

Even fewer people thought that after his first few performances for the club.

The skinny Spanish goalkeeper looked extremely nervy in the opening few months and didn’t appear to be strong enough to cope with the demands of Premier League football.

In fact, you couldn’t blame United fans for feeling a little bit worried after his first performance in a United shirt.

It came in the Community Shield against Manchester City, a match in which they eventually won 3-2.

But De Gea certainly didn’t cover himself in glory.

City went ahead through Jolean Lescott’s header from a David Silva free-kick that De Gea probably should have come for. Instead, he awkwardly dived underneath the ball as Lescott was free to head into the empty net.


But things got worse just minutes later.

Just before half-time, Edin Dzeko let fly with a speculative 30-yard strike which was powerful but straight at De Gea.

However, the debutant allowed the ball to go underneath him as City went 2-0 up.

Watch: De Gea's 'highlights' from his Man Utd debut

Take a look:

Luckily for the 20-year-old, United produced a miraculous comeback and won the match 3-2 to lift the trophy. It meant the focus was on the victory, rather than De Gea’s mistakes.

Five years later, and De Gea is no longer making these mistakes. Instead, he's producing wonder saves and has won the club’s Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons from the 2013/14 season to the 2015/16 season.

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League

Not only is he one of the best goalkeepers in world football, he’s also one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest signings during his 26 years at the club.

Who would have thought that after his disastrous debut?

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