Gary Neville refutes Man United manager’s assessment of David De Gea

Gary Neville doesn't believe Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is still the best in the world

David De Gea
David De Gea (Photo: The Sport Review)

Gary Neville says he disagrees with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about David De Gea still being the best goalkeeper in the world.

The Spain international kept a clean sheet in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening thanks to Anthony Martial’s hat-trick.

De Gea’s shutout came in the wake of yet another mistake in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in north London in the Premier League last week.

The 29-year-old has struggled to find consistency over the past couple of seasons as De Gea has gradually become more error-prone under his current manager.

Liverpool FC’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson have both established themselves as the leading two shot-stoppers in the Premier League.

Solskjaer came out in defence of the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper following his mistake against Tottenham.

However, Sky Sports pundit Neville rubbished Solskjaer’s claim that De Gea is still “the best goalkeeper in the world”.

“Ederson and Alisson are better goalkeepers [than De Gea] and they have been for the last 18 months, two years – but I’d expect Ole to defend his player,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I think De Gea for three or four years was the best goalkeeper in the world – certainly the best in the Premier League.

“He won the player of the year here and in a very difficult period post-Sir Alex Ferguson, he was the shining light, but since that 2018 World Cup he’s had a really difficult time.”

De Gea has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League during his nine-year stint at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea to replace Edwin van der Sar in a £19m deal from Atletico Madrid in the 2011 summer transfer window.

De Gea struggled in his initial couple of seasons at Manchester United before the Spain international improved towards the end of Ferguson’s reign.

The Manchester United number one established himself as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League during Louis van Gaal’s two-season spell at the club.

De Gea was named in the PFA team of the year in five of the six seasons between 2012 and 2018 to highlight his level of consistency.

Manchester United will make the trip to Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon before a home clash against Brighton next week.

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