David de Gea has probably been Manchester United's best player for more than a year now. Without a doubt, he's been the most consistent figure at Old Trafford anyway.
His performances of late have been quite extraordinary, despite the fact that his defence have continued to struggle. United's back-line has proved far too inconsistent over the past 14 months or so, but De Gea has stepped up for the Red Devils between the sticks.
His display against Everton last month was outstanding - unsurprisingly he was handed the club's Player of the Month for October. And, at just 23-years-old, he's only going to get better over the course of the next few years.
Real Madrid interest
It's hardly surprising, then, that Spanish giants Real Madrid are interested in his services as they look to replace veteran Iker Casillas at the Bernabeu. And, in truth, it wouldn't really come as a surprise if De Gea's head was turned by the interest of the European champions.
After all, Manchester United have endured a torrid time under the likes of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, whilst Madrid are the dominant force in world football.
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But, don't get me wrong, De Gea must forget about a move to the Bernabeu and instead concentrate on his Manchester United future...
Why? Because, he owes the club: Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United fans, the hierarchy and Co. stuck by him when he was struggling to adapt to life in England...now he must return the favour.
There may well come a point in his career when he opts to depart the Theatre of Dreams, but that point should not be yet. De Gea's earned himself quite the reputation at Old Trafford in recent time, but he can become an even greater hero amongst the club's faithful if he helps them get back to where they belong.
Manchester United's role
At 23, he has 10-15 years left at the top, but he should spend the next five or so years in England proving his worth. Manchester United, of course, must do their part: they must offer him a contract that he's worthy of.
He deserves a pay rise; he deserves to become one of the top earners at the club. Right now, United certainly can't afford to have problems in the goalkeeping department, so it's crucial the keep their prize asset at the club.
As Van Gaal looks to stabilise his back-four, his job will be made much easier knowing that De Gea is going to be part of the Old Trafford set-up for a number of years to come. In truth, United could also do with qualifying for the Champions League as they look to keep the Spaniard at the club.
After all, De Gea deserves to be playing in Europe's elite competition, but he has plenty of time for that. United will start getting it right at some point and the Spanish shot-stopper should be at the forefront of it.
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