Ferguson: De Gea can be even better
Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea will make even more of an impact next season.
Now coming towards the end of his second season with the Old Trafford outfit, De Gea has bounced back from more criticism to help keep six successive clean sheets as United charge towards a record 20th league championship.
"David has developed and matured as the season has gone on," said Ferguson.
The Spain Olympic star was also nominated for the Premier League player of the month prize, not a bad effort considering he was being written off at the start of the year, with even former United captain Gary Neville joining in the chorus of condemnation.
Ferguson famously dismissed the criticism, insisting there was no point listening to the "idiots".
Yet speculation endured that De Gea would be offloaded to Real Madrid this summer, with Stoke's Asmir Begovic lined up as a replacement. That does not seem so likely now, with Ferguson hinting the former Atletico Madrid man will be staying where he is.
Ferguson added: "We've seen a very progressive and developing young goalkeeper and next season he'll be even better."
Doubts must have persisted in Ferguson's mind over the first half of the campaign though given the manner in which he rotated De Gea with Anders Lindegaard. However, Lindegaard's dreadful performance in United's 4-3 win at Reading effectively ended his chances of becoming the permanent number one, with De Gea once again given the chance of proving he was worth his £18million price tag.
On pure shot-stopping ability, there can be no further concerns. But Rio Ferdinand accepts the physicality of English football does take some getting used to.
"When you are a 'keeper, experience comes with games and becoming used to certain situations," said the veteran defender. "He hasn't been here long. He is young, he had to become accustomed to his new surroundings and he wasn't given time."