David de Gea admits “second place is simply not enough” for a club of Manchester United’s ambition as they seek to take something from 2017-18 in the FA Cup final.
The Red Devils have wrapped up a runner-up finish in the Premier League with the minimum of fuss, with Jose Mourinho’s side having delivered the level of consistency required to secure Champions League qualification.
The final standings did, however, see them left trailing 19 points adrift of record-breaking rivals Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s troops having swept to title glory at a canter.
De Gea concedes that more is expected of United on that front, with it now up to them to ensure that the season is not a complete write-off by overcoming Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
The Spanish goalkeeper told United Review: "I believe that for a club like United, even second place is simply not enough. We have to be fighting hard to win something and we have that opportunity next week [in the FA Cup final].
"You get nothing for coming second or getting close to the league leaders. In the end you always have to be fighting to win as that’s what this club and the fans really deserve, and so it’s just that: second place is not enough.
"This club has an obligation to get through to cup finals, go on to win them, win silverware, and continue to make this club even bigger. I believe that’s the most important thing, always being in the shake-up, fighting to win trophies and battling to keep making United exactly what it is: a massive, massive club."
While frustrated at seeing United come up short in a title quest, De Gea has enjoyed another memorable season on a personal level.
A first Golden Glove award has come his way on the back of 18 clean sheets, while history has been made at Old Trafford after collecting a fourth Player of the Year prize.
"I think it’s been a very complete season for me, my best since I’ve been at the club, I reckon,” added the 27-year-old.
"It’s always good to be able to help out the team, and to try and be at your highest level of form possible to be able to earn points for the team.
"And that’s the most important thing, to help the team in every way you can and to maintain that level of consistency which I believe is what makes the difference."