Gary Neville: How David De Gea responded to my Man United criticism

The Manchester United legend explains why he was impressed with David De Gea's response to his criticism

Gary Neville has praised how David De Gea handled his criticism of the Manchester United goalkeeper in the early stages of his Old Trafford career.

The Red Devils signed De Gea in a £17m deal from Atletico Madrid in 2011 as Sir Alex Ferguson identified the Spanish shot stopper as a long-term successor for club legend Edwin van der Sar.

However, De Gea struggled in his opening couple of seasons at Old Trafford as the young goalkeeper made the transition from La Liga to the Premier League.

Former Manchester United right-back Neville was critical of De Gea’s erratic performances under Ferguson before the goalkeeper started to show signs of improvement.

And the Spain number one has since established himself as one of Manchester United’s most-important players and has won the club’s player of the year award in the last three seasons.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement show, Neville praised De Gea for his silent reaction to the ex-defender’s criticism after the pundit’s recent controversial appraisal of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.

“Bullying young players? That’s absolutely ridiculous,” Neville said.

“I was critical of David De Gea three or four years ago. He has gone on to prove me wrong by silence and performances. He has grown out of it. It was nothing personal against Loris Karius. It was an observation.”

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