Keeping David de Gea is Manchester United's best piece of transfer business, says James Ducker
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 03/12/17 7:40pm
Manchester United's ability to keep David de Gea is their best piece of transfer business in recent years, James Ducker told the Sunday Supplement.
The Spaniard underlined his credentials as one of the world's best goalkeepers with a sensational display in United's 3-1 victory at Arsenal on Saturday.
De Gea single-handedly kept the Gunners at bay with 14 saves at the Emirates, a joint-record in the Premier League since records began.
Real Madrid have long been linked with a move for De Gea but he has not let speculation affect his performances on the pitch, with Ducker describing him as the "ultimate professional".
And the Daily Telegraph's Northern Football correspondent believes keeping De Gea out of the clutches of Madrid outweighs the high-profile acquisitions of Jose Mourinho's tenure.
"People forget that United and Mourinho gave De Gea the option to go," he said. "Mourinho is on record saying he didn't want to keep players who wanted to go.
"But for various reasons Madrid withdrew from that and United kept De Gea last summer more by accident than design.
"What is remarkable about De Gea is that unlike Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who have only just started performing in recent weeks, his head was turned but he has the ability to block things out and be the ultimate professional.
"This was evident when Louis van Gaal dropped him from the team for the first six games of the 2015/16 season, he came back in and was absolutely brilliant straight away.
"That takes a special player who has the mentality to detach themselves from what's going on in and around the scenes.
We often look at players as robots but they are not, they are affected by things off the field as everyone is in everyday life. He is almost machine-like.
"People talk about title credentials and no team wins the league without an excellent goalkeeper. De Gea saves points, at least 10 a season.
"He is a remarkable goalkeeper and United's ability to keep him, despite Paul Pogba and other signings being good, has been the best piece of transfer business they've done."