De Gea feeling better than ever in Man Utd keeper battle & questions of his number one spot

David de Gea Manchester United 2020-21
The Spain international, who has seen Dean Henderson welcomed back into the fold at Old Trafford, claims to be at the peak of his powers

David de Gea claims to be “the best I’ve felt in my career” as he looks to embrace the challenge posed to his number one spot at Manchester United by Dean Henderson.

The Spain international has been undisputed first choice at Old Trafford for several years now.

For the most part he has been a model of consistency for the Red Devils, with four Player of the Year awards picked up.

Article continues below

Errors have, however, crept back into his game of late, leading to uncomfortable questions being asked of his presence between the sticks.

Henderson’s return from two productive loan spells at Sheffield United has placed added pressure on De Gea, with another highly-rated performer now breathing down his neck.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has kept faith with a long-serving keeper for now, with a proven 29-year-old of the opinion that he is at the peak of his powers.

De Gea told MUTV when asked whether people forget that he is still relatively young for a keeper: “Yeah, maybe because I’ve been playing a lot since I was very young but right now I feel probably the best I’ve felt in my career.

“I feel very, very well and very confident and very positive and that’s very important for me. Now it’s time to be back to winning ways and winning trophies, that’s the most important thing for us at the moment. Like I say I feel very, very good.

“It’s great to train every day here with the coaches and the goalkeepers.

“We always try to learn from each other and try to push altogether. It’s great. If you see the training it’s really good to see the goalkeepers together.

“It’s very important to have good feelings with the other goalkeepers and the goalkeeping coaches as well. It’s great. We are training, like I say, very, very well – the whole department of keepers.

“We need to be at this level every day and to show the players that the keepers are feeling 100 per cent. Now, like I said, we have to go for trophies.”

De Gea was beaten on three occasions in his only outing of 2020-21 to date, with Crystal Palace inflicting a shock defeat on United at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer’s side felt they were in that contest for long periods, but big VAR calls worked against them, with one chaotic episode seeing Victor Lindelof pulled up for handball before Wilfried Zaha converted a re-taken penalty.

“It was a bit crazy,” De Gea added, with the Spaniard having initially kept out an effort from Jordan Ayew that saw him step fractionally off his line.

“It’s already difficult to save a penalty so even if okay you make the save and they repeat the penalty then they can change the taker so there’s no pressure on the player who missed the penalty.

“It’s a little bit strange. Those are the rules though and I try to save the next penalty straight from the line, that’s the football rules.

“It’s true the first game wasn’t the best game for us. It was a strange time after last season not having enough time to rest properly but it’s the same for all teams.

“It’s time to start winning games. Last season we finished really, really strong so we need to try to play as we did in the last 10 games of last season. This is the way we need to be and playing our best football.”

United will be back in Premier League action on Saturday, as they go in search of their first points of the season, when taking in a trip to Brighton.