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The Spain Under-21 international has suffered patchy form since joining the club from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago but believes his performances are improving

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea believes his difficult start to life at the club has made him a stronger person.

De Gea arrived from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago to fill the void left by Edwin van der Sar’s retirement, but came in for criticism after several high-profile blunders.

However, having capped a strong showing against Manchester City with an impressive shot-stopping performance against Sunderland, the Spaniard says he is beginning to feel more comfortable.

“The biggest thing for me is that I’ve managed to work through some difficult times and those moments always make you stronger,” he told The Sun. “It makes you a stronger person and a better player.

“I think I’ve improved right across the board, in all aspects of my game. I’m still only young and I feel as though I’m learning every day. I’ve hopefully got a long career ahead of me, so I want to soak up as much knowledge as I can while I’m young.

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“I’m at a huge club now and there are big demands on you. As a goalkeeper, I’m well aware that any mistake can be magnified by the fans. But it’s true that here at Manchester United there’s added pressure.

“It’s bigger right now than it was for me at Atletico Madrid and also for Spain Under-21s.”

United have pulled off a number of comeback wins this season and De Gea says he is enjoying being part of a squad with such character.

He added: “When I was in Spain I’d seen the way the team always seemed to conjure up a late goal to either draw or win matches.

“I think dramatic comebacks are part of the heart and soul of this club. I love being a part of it and experiencing it.

“I’m very settled and feel like part of the furniture around the club. I feel very much at home in the Premier League and, of course, with my team-mates here at the club. I’m enjoying life here and I feel I’ve settled well."

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