Man Utd losing David De Gea would be WORSE than Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid transfer | Football | Sport
Manchester United are only a shadow, rather than total eclipse, of their former selves. And that is because of David De Gea.
Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement five years ago, Old Trafford has had a very different feel about it. Gone are the days when it was the Theatre of Dreams, where fans would bear witness to the swashbuckling and the sublime. Instead, it resembles a cemetery, a ghost-town of a village once populated with football’s biggest and best players.
In recent years, Manchester United have tried to turn things around. Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao were initially seen as the path back to the top. Then Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial. In recent times, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez.
But to no avail. Pogba has kicked on and Martial, too, is improving. Yet De Gea remains their most valuable and vital player – by a significant way.
Alarm bells, then, are ringing amid the news he is delaying signing a new United contract.
De Gea is reportedly willing to play the long game. He feels settled at the club and, with his pop-star girlfriend now living with him, any hankering after a return to Spain has ended.
But De Gea knows that, as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, he deserves greater rewards. He has won the Premier League title just once during his seven years at the club. For a player of his sheer ability, that is not enough.
A faulty fax machine kept him at the club in 2015, when Real Madrid were thought to have finally secured an agreement for his transfer. Their loss has been United’s gain with the 28-year-old still operating at the peak of his powers.
This United side cannot lose him. And, if De Gea was to jump ship, it would be an even bigger disaster than Ronaldo’s own move to Real Madrid.
Nine years ago, the Red Devils were able to lose their best players.
After all, when stars such as Ronaldo left, Sir Alex Ferguson still had a ridiculously good squad. In Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, he had a good enough strike force to cover.
Sure, Ferguson missed Ronaldo’s sparkle in his latter years – especially when it came to the Champions League.
In 2010, had they had him, they would have likely beaten Inter Milan to the prize. Two years later, when the club crashed out in the group stages and tumbled into the Europa League, a bang-average Chelsea side lifted the trophy. If Ronaldo was at United at the time, they would have done better.
But things are different now.
Whereas Ferguson was able to entrust the task of replacing Ronaldo to the likes of Berbatov and Rooney, Jose Mourinho would have no such fortune.
Sergio Romero is good – but not good enough. Joel Pereira is raw. Dean Henderson, shining at Sheffield United, too inexperienced.
And Lee Grant, at 35, is not the future of this football club.
That would leave United having to buy a big-money replacement. And, even then, there are no guarantees one would match De Gea’s calibre.
It takes time to be a hit in the Premier League. And United, given the fact they fall further behind the league’s best every single week, cannot afford that.
Losing De Gea would be a Ronaldo-esque error. Difference being, this one would be ten times worse.