Manchester United host Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime after crashing out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night following defeat to West Ham at Old Trafford; Goalkeeper David de Gea is optimistic for the rest of the season
Friday 24 September 2021 13:27, UK
David de Gea says Manchester United can fight for the Premier League and Champions League this season after adding Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane to the squad.
United, who host Aston Villa on Saturday lunchtime after crashing out of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night following defeat to West Ham, finished second last season behind Manchester City, and reached the final of the Europa League, losing out on penalties to Villarreal.
Domestically, they will face fierce competition for the title from Chelsea and Liverpool - the two teams they sit level on 13 points with at the top of the table - as well as defending champions City.
But goalkeeper De Gea is expecting more from United in this campaign following the injection of experience from the former Real Madrid duo, and the £73m acquisition of 21-year-old Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
"We signed good players [in the summer] and we already had a good squad," De Gea told Sky Sports.
"We are there at the top of the league fighting for every game, of course it is hard, it is the best league in the world.
"Every game is difficult, we want to fight for the big trophies, try to fight for the Premier League, the Champions League, for everything and I think we have the squad and the players and we have the fans with us so it's amazing. I think the club is in a good point.
"I think there are top teams fighting for the league, like always in the Premier League. So let's see what happens, be focused on the next games and just prepare properly and put everything on the pitch and in training."
De Gea says Ronaldo's return to the club from Italian side Juventus has already had a huge impact on the squad.
The Portugal forward, who holds the record for most goals in men's international football, has scored four times in the three matches he has played for United in this campaign.
But De Gea, like his fellow United goalkeeper Lee Grant already alluded to, says Ronaldo's influence on the team stretches far beyond his goals on the pitch.
"I think that the impact is already there," he added. "It's amazing to have him back at home.
"He's already a legend in the club, so I think for the players, for the young lads, for everyone, he's a great guy to see every day how he works in the gym, how he treats himself, how he takes care of his body, and of himself.
"He is an amazing player and it's great to see him here every day working hard and helping the team.
"Let's see, like I said, now we have a bigger squad, big players - players with experience like Cristiano, like Raphael Varane, like me, Juan Mata - so we have more experience on the team.
"So let's see, it can be a great year."