Martinez missed de Gea coup
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is still ruing the day he let David de Gea slip through his fingers.
Last Updated: 25/06/11 4:46pm
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez admits he is still ruing the day he let Spanish starlet David de Gea slip through his fingers.
The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is expected to sign for Manchester United after the European Under-21 Championship final against Switzerland with Sir Alex Ferguson ready to pay around £20million.
The 20-year-old was fast-tracked from the Atletico youth team to the first team during an injury crisis and he could have been on the Latics' books two summers ago but for an 11th-hour change of mind by the Spanish giants.
However, Martinez is in no doubt that De Gea will become a more than adequate successor to Edwin van der Sar, who retired at the end of last season.
"It's true, we had David signed on a loan deal, but unfortunately on the last day of the transfer window everything fell through," Martinez told the Evening Post.
"The problem wasn't on our side of the agreement - Atletico Madrid just felt he had to stay, and they were proved to be right.
"Shortly afterwards, their two senior goalkeepers got injured, he got an opportunity and he quickly became a hero. And everyone has been able to see for themselves the true quality of David de Gea."
And Martinez is not surprised at how quickly the young man has made it to the top, adding: "We followed him for a long, long time, and we have always known how good he is.
"He has matured so much at such a young age, and the price tag Manchester United are talking about already looks to be a bargain."