David de Gea says he is open to staying at Manchester United for the remainder of his career after admitting “the culture of football” had to change at Old Trafford.
De Gea was voted the Players’ Player of the Year at Manchester United last season. It was an award he gladly accepted but he has admitted it cannot happen again if the club are to be successful.
The Spaniard came to United’s rescue on a number of occasions last season as United failed to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City. Despite De Gea’s fine for he managed only eight clean sheets in the league.
But despite a success on a personal level, De Gea is desperate to see success for United. And even the nightmare of last season has not put off the keeper from ending his career at the club.
De Gea, 31, is out of contract next summer, but the club hold an option of a 12-month extension. And the former Atletico Madrid man is eager to stay at the club.
“Yeah, if it’s possible, of course. I would be really happy to be here for as long as they want,” said De Gea, in an interview at Perth’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.
“If they let me stay here, I will stay here, for sure. I’m really comfortable, really happy and hopefully, before I leave we can win something.
“I’ve had bad times at clubs, good times, I’ve been in lots of situations where we don’t win as much as we want but I love the club.
“Of course, we want to win. But winning or not winning, just being in this club is bigger than any trophy.”
Last season was ’embarrassing’
He does not want to be the star of the show again and when reminded of a comment from Jose Mourinho that it’s not a good sign at any club if the goalkeeper is the outstanding performer, he said: “Yeah, totally agree,’ he says. ‘It’s good for me, of course. I love to win trophies, but I totally agree with what he said. It must be a striker or a midfielder. That’s what happens for sure this season.”
De Gea is certainly looking for a vast improvement on the club’s worst ever Premier League campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and interim boss Ralf Rangnick. And he did not hold back when assessing last season.
“Yeah, for me and for everyone, it was a very tough season, embarrassing sometimes. Some games were a mess, a disaster.
“So we should learn from last season that it cannot happen again because it was tough. I hope everyone reflects.
“It was painful to be there and we are not capable of winning games. Losing 4-0 or 5-0, it was unacceptable. Sometimes you have to feel pain to go up and keep going.”
De Gea: ‘Ten Hag fully focused’
United’s showings in pre-season under new boss Erik ten Hag have been flooded with optimism. Wins over Liverpool and Crystal Palace have got United’s fans dreaming again.
Ten Hag has insisted on a high-pressing style and De Gea concedes their style had to change.
“We needed a better culture of football, of just thinking about football, nothing else,” said Dea Gea, as cited by the Daily Mail.
“With a new manager, we are in a good way. He is very focused on football and what we need, and the players feel the same.
“Of course, you cannot be late for training or for meetings, that’s life. You have to be on time and professional.
“He’s very intense. Everything he says is fully focused, 100 per cent just in training.
“We need to adapt to him but we have showed already in those three games we are pressing high, we want to win the ball and keep it and dictate. We want to lead the game.”