De Gea has shown character to recover from a poor start to his debut season in the English top flight, and former United goalkeeper Van der Gouw is confident the Spaniard will prove to be a fantastic signing.
“This was his second season and he’s done a fantastic job. If you want to finish champions you need a very good goalkeeper,” van der Gouw told Manchester Evening News.
“You need a goalkeeper who is in form and that’s exactly what he is.
“I have the feeling he is getting better and better.
“If you look at the long term, I think he is going to be fantastic goalkeeper for United.”
De Gea has made 80 appearances for the Red Devils after Ferguson signed the Spain Under-21 international in a £17m deal from Atlético Madrid in 2011.
And Van der Gouw can understand why the De Gea struggled in the Premier League in his first season at Old Trafford.
“When he came here he was only 20 years old – he was very young. He came from Spain, had to learn the English language,” van der Gouw added.
“It was a massive step for David and he needed time to settle.
“You can see that he has personality. Mentally he is very strong, otherwise he wouldn’t be a United player any more.”