David De Gea’s rise up from a much-maligned goalkeeper who struggled in the Premier League at first makes his current standing all the more impressive, according to Arsenal’s Petr Cech.
The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest shots toppers, having kept more clean sheets than anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
But his first couple of years at Manchester United after a record-breaking move from Atletico Madrid were full of criticism.
Cech, who was once himself seen as one of the best goalkeepers in English football while at Chelsea, hailed his rival for his current performances at Man United.
“Why I rate him is that he was struggling at the start. He had problems adapting to the league, people were saying ‘he’s too weak, he’s too slim, he doesn’t make saves’ this and that, he overcame that,” Cech said. “That shows you his real strength.”
The Czech Republic legend claimed that De Gea is single-handedly responsible for United winning certain points this season.
“If you imagine United without David de Gea, probably they would have less points, he makes so many important saves during the game,” Cech said.
The Arsenal Man knows that all too well after De Gea made an astonishing number of saves at the Emirates in a clinical 3-1 victory. That included a sensational double-stop to deny Alexander Lacazette and ensure United took the three points.
Games against Stoke City and Liverpool have also seen De Gea show just how essential he is to the club, with match winning or match saving moments.