It’s been in the pipeline for a while. Ever since Fergie upset a few to skip a Carling Cup game to ‘go spy on Valencia…ahem!’ It was evident at the time that he was going to run the rule on David De Gea..especially as our goalkeeping coach accompanied him!
The news that De Gea could well be on his way to the Theatre of Dreams will be thoroughly welcomed by many of the Faithful. Edwin, though a magnificent servant that he has been, is well on his way to receiving his bus pass and extra winter fuel allowance. How his body has kept up with the rigours of English football is beyond me. So its time to pass the torch on very soon…
But is De Gea the right choice?
At 6 foot 4 inches, De Gea certainly has the ‘Schmeichel dimensions’ that us United fans seem to love. You may well love the nimble fleet of foot approach of a Given, or a Lloris, or even an Akinfeev…but that’s all a bit Fabien Barthez isn’t it? Even Reina falls into this category. De Gea, along with Manuel Neuer, is regarded by many in the game as the best young keeper in the world, having just turned 20 a couple of weeks ago. At such a tender age he has already played over 50 times for his club, and appeared in a European final that he won versus Fulham. There is no doubting his credentials, his God given talent. But there is something niggling away.
As Alan Hansen once said “You cant win anything with kids, I know everything there is to know about football cos i played for Liverpool you know and we were GREAT”.. As we know, Mr Hansen has eaten those words out of his hat many times over. But there is some resonance to all of that. United slowly but surely are moving in the next generation already…The Chicharitos, The Smallings and the like. Youth is primed to take over from the old guard, and of course that comes with no future guarantee of success. So is it the right thing to do to put a kid…and he is still a boy pretty much…between the sticks for the Biggest Club in the World, when the rest of the team is bereft of that vital experience? ..And I’m talking the next 3 or 4 years…not just next season. We know that Giggsy, Scholesy and Nev will probably join Edwin on free trips on local transport to the City centre in the very near future, so is the timing right to bring in more ‘potential’ rather than a proven keeper?
Rumours have been abound about the availability of Pepe Reina and the great man himself Gigi Buffon (whose back is only slightly better than Rio Ferdinand’s) Both have all the experience and tools to just pick up the ball and start running. You would think that they were sensible options, but from the latest rumblings it appears that neither will be available in the very near future..or it would cost United a kings (or Paul Stretford sized) ransom to secure their releases. So for £15 million…..De Gea would look like a fantastic bit of business? Yes….yes he does.
In many ways, we could be about to see a truly ‘Busby Babes Mk II’ experiment about to happen here. A collection of excellent early 20 somethings trying to walk in the steps of those that fashioned the original Manchester United way. It is an experiment that is scary..fills me with a bit of fear. But it is also exciting and the mark of the next generation of a United team. De Gea has everything he needs to become the best keeper on the planet for the next 20 years. That is what I think appeals to Fergie in all this. His enthusiasm to create new teams, and his desire to see United right in the future almost guarantees that De Gea is the sort of player he wants.
This deal appears to be at the advanced stages, the news moles seem to be insinuating. De Gea would be welcomed with open arms by all of us at Old Trafford. I just hope and pray that the boy has the temperament and the confidence to conquer the very large expectation that comes with playing for MUFC.