David De Gea’s tough time at Manchester United illustrates just how tough it is to find top goal-keeping talent in the current transfer market climate.
When De Gea was at Atletico Madrid, back in 2011, he was heralded as a top young talent. He was thought of as somebody who combined top shot-stopping ability with intelligence, positional sense and a fearless attitude.
His standing was such that Sir Alex Ferguson agreed to spend £20m to bring him to Old Trafford – an incredible fee for goalkeeper.
I remember at the time, that many United fans were a little worried about the purchase. There were claims that he ‘couldn’t command an area’ and that he lacked ‘physical presence’. These claims seem to have been backed up during his time at Manchester United. Back in 2011, there was a section of United fans clamouring for Manuel Neuer. How they must wish that Sir Alex had seen things their way.
Now the Daily Mail claims that Fergie has lost all patience with the Spaniard, and is ready to call time on his United career. Furthermore, he’s asked the club’s top brass to stump up the cash for a new keeper.
Well, Fergie has never been one to sit still has he? So who should he be looking at bringing in?
Two options that have been linked to Manchester United are Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic and Liverpool’s Pepe Reina. Let’s call the former the ‘budget option’ and the latter the ‘premium option’.
Begovic is a good player, who has kept Stoke in games this season, but Pepe Reina is the player with real pedigree.
Yes, he’d completely tarnish his Liverpool reputation by joining their all-time rivals, Manchester United, but he’d also fit in at Old Trafford with consummate ease. Though his form has waxed and waned over the last season or so, he’s still a top keeper and one of the Premier League’s best.
Reina would certainly command his area better than David De Gea and is no slouch in the shot-stopping department. He’s a great all-rounder, with years of experience and a good 4-5 years still ahead of him.
In this sense, he’d be a great signing, if Fergie can convince Brendan Rodgers to give him a fair deal. He won’t come cheap, though Fergie has proven that he’s willing to spend big on top quality keepers before.
What’s your take? Should Pepe Reina take David De Gea’s place at Manchester United?
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