Schmeichel praises De Gea's incredible Man United development

The club legend says there were doubts over the Spaniard early on, but that he has been thouroughly impressed with the goalkeepers development

Peter Schmeichel has hailed what he sees as the incredible development of David De Gea at Manchester United.   

Former goalkeeper Schmeichel is still a legend at Old Trafford, having captured five Premier League titles with the club in the 1990s.   

But the 55-year-old admits that he was not impressed with the club’s current goalkeeper when he was first signed from Atletico Madrid, only to have De Gea prove himself with a stunning performance against Chelsea back in 2012.  

The match ended in a 3-3 draw, but Schmeichel says it was a launching point for the Spanish stopper.   

"When David De Gea first came to the Premier League he was a small boy," Schmeichel told the Premier League’s website. "He looked like a small boy and he played like a small boy - and these are Sir Alex Ferguson's words - with big hands.  

"He played Chelsea and he snapped into character with a couple of really incredible saves. From that moment on he has developed incredibly."  

De Gea has now grown into one of the top goalkeepers in the world, having won a league title in his second year with the club and added titles in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup, UEFA Europa League and been named as the club’s Player of the Year on four occasions.   

And Schmeichel has been impressed with the level of consistency the 28-year-old has provided over the years.  

"His physicality has changed. I think now if you ask him, he's there, exactly where he wants to be," Schmeichel said.  

"He's very often in the right position to make these kind of saves and he does it time and time again, and it's very impressive."  

Article continues below

De Gea and Manchester United have a massive match on Sunday with the club set to host Liverpool in a Premier League showdown.   

The Reds are tied with Manchester City at the top of the table, while the Old Trafford outfit are looking to get a better grasp on their place inside the league’s top four. 

Manchester United sit one point clear of both Arsenal and Chelsea in fourth.