Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata believes compatriot David de Gea is undervalued outside of the Premier League. The Spain international has been in splendid form for the Red Devils this term with a couple of world-class performances which have kept the club ahead of their close competitors.
Speaking in the United Review, Mata insisted that the 27-year-old underappreciated for his efforts after Gianluigi Buffon earned FIFA’s best goalkeeper award from a 15-man list, which did not feature the United shot-stopper. De Gea has since made the Ballon d’Or shortlist where he finished 20th overall, but Mata feels the Spaniard should be appreciated better across the continent as he is undisputedly the best in the English top-flight.
“You know, everything has been said about David from journalists, ex-players, current players, from myself. He is great. He is fantastic. He has an incredible talent and has shown that in every single game in every single season, which is so difficult to do,” Mata said.
“His consistency is what makes him the best or one of the best, for sure. He showed it on a big stage like Arsenal as he made sure we got the points. You know what?, I don’t know why some people don’t appreciate him and how good he is. He’s not always on the list of the best goalkeepers in the world, or whatever these awards are, and, for me, it’s definite.”
De Gea has won the PFA Player of the Year accolade in each of the last three seasons, and his exclusion for the best goalkeeper award comes as a huge surprise. The former Atleti graduate produced probably the standout performance of his career in the 3-1 win over Arsenal earlier this month, and it shouldn’t be long before he earns his due recognition.