Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has spoken out about the criticism he received early on his Old Trafford career, saying it was "unfair" to judge him so quickly.
The 23-year-old stopper suffered an indifferent start to life in Manchester, with many citing his inability to impose himself on corners as an obvious weakness that opposition teams were exploiting.
He was blamed for a Shane Long effort creeping under him at West Brom, as well as Daniel Aggers' headed effort in the Red Devils' FA Cup defeat to Liverpool.
Of the criticism he received, he said: "If I am honest, yes (it was unfair). I was very young, had arrived at a new club from another country and was learning a whole new language.
"I was also adapting to a new style of football and new team-mates. That's a lot to take in and it's natural that it will take a little bit of time to settle.
"It wasn't easy hearing the criticism, but I tried to use it to motivate me and make me stronger."
The goalkeeping post at United has been a topic of hot debate since the new millennium because of the void left by the legendary Peter Schmeichel, a void Sir Alex Ferguson failed to find an adequate replacement for until Edwin van der Sar joined from Fulham in 2005.
However, his acquisition of the the young Spaniard - although it originally looked like another poor signing - appears to be finally paying off.
He's since come back strongly since his early struggles, being named in the PFA Team of the Year for his contribution to United's 20th league title win last season.
And the former Atletico Madrid man believes moving to the Premier League has improved his skills.
"I think I have improved as a goalkeeper because of it, actually.
"I like to think that from bad things you can derive good results."
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: https://gms.to/1a2u3KU
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms