At 28 years of age, he is at the peak of his powers and maintaining a remarkable level of consistency.
There are a number of hopefuls looking to steal his crown in the near future, with the likes of Alisson and Ederson having helped to raise the bar with their ball-playing and shot-stopping skill sets.
Heaton, though, believes that De Gea remains at the top of the chart at present.
The England international, speaking at Precision’s Goalkeeping event for his bespoke glove range, told Goal of his pick in the Premier League: “It’s a difficult one. It’s obviously tight. I still lean on David de Gea. It’s all down to opinion.
“For me, he’s just got that extra something in terms of keeping the ball out of the net. He’s still very good with his feet, but the saves he produces in big moments probably puts him slightly ahead of everyone else, in my eyes.”
Heaton knows all about life under the brightest of spotlights at United having started his own career at Old Trafford.
He saw his route to regular first-team football blocked by Edwin van der Sar and was forced to make his way up the keeping ladder elsewhere.
De Gea has, however, shown how to nail down a starting berth and overcome early adversity to become one of the finest players on the planet.
“After what was a difficult start, at a place like Old Trafford, to put in the performances that he has put in consistently over the last few years has been tremendous,” said Heaton.
“Hats off to him. He’s certainly shown his quality.”
De Gea is a Premier League Golden Glove winner and four-time Player of the Year at United.
His value to the Red Devils cause is without question and those at Old Trafford are trying to tie him to fresh terms as his current deal is due to expire in the summer of 2020.
Precision’s Infinite Heat Gloves, designed specifically by Tom are available now at http://www.precisiontraining.uk.com/goalkeeping.