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Former Manchester United goalkeeper Van der Sar compares City's Hart with Peter Schmeichel

The Dutchman believes England's No.1 is showing the qualities of the Great Dane and also had much praise for current United keeper David de Gea, who took over from him

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has compared Manchester City’s Joe Hart with Red Devils legend Peter Schmeichel.

The Dutchman, who retired from football last season, is looking forward to Monday’s Manchester derby and he believes Hart has all of the attributes to emulate the Danish European Championship winner.

"It was a big decision by [Roberto] Mancini to put Hart in ahead of Shay Given because Given is a great goalkeeper," he told the Daily Mail.

"Hart makes good reaction saves and great blocks. That's a little bit the Peter Schmeichel way and that's one of his strong points."

The 41-year-old is also pleased to see United’s David de Gea establishing himself in the Premier League after initially struggling to adapt to life in England’s top flight since his move from Spain.

"Everyone half-expected David would have a difficult two or three months adjusting to the Premier League and so it proved," he added.

"Spain is one of the big leagues but in England you need a little bit more.

"It took me a while when I went to Fulham at 31 and it's not strange that it took a 21-year-old time to adjust.

"De Gea looks similar to me. I was quite skinny when I started out. He is confident with his feet also and that's a big part of being a goalkeeper nowadays.

"The aerial battles he just has to adjust to. A big part of the job is in the mind. He seems like a calm guy and doesn't seem fazed by the occasion."

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