David De Gea rates the current season as one of his best on a personal level despite being unable to avoid how difficult it has been for Manchester United.
De Gea has been one of the few Manchester United players who can come out of this season with their head held high. The club have performed below their usual standards in 2021-22. As such, a top-four finish has long been out of the question.
Ahead of the final game of the season, Manchester United can either finish sixth or seventh. By beating Crystal Palace, they would confirm a Europa League place instead of risking being overtaken by West Ham.
United are far off where they want to be. With that in mind, they have appointed Erik ten Hag to be their next manager. He will hope to inspire a new era at Old Trafford.
Many players’ futures will now be at risk. But one of the leading performers this season has been Spanish goalkeeper De Gea.
It was originally in doubt whether he would remain as their number one this season. Dean Henderson was competing for his place towards the end of the previous campaign.
But the academy graduate’s pre-season was disrupted, so De Gea took his chance to assert his stronghold on the starting berth again.
From 45 appearances in all competitions this season, he has conceded 65 goals. A number of saves have ensured that tally has not increased, despite some suspect defending in front of him.
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Therefore, De Gea can reflect on this season as a positive. Although he cannot escape the reality of what it has been like for the club as a whole.
“We all know it’s been a tough season for us,” De Gea told United Daily.
“But for myself, I’m very proud of my season, to be honest. I worked really hard in the summer to come here, to be ready to play, to show my qualities and to try to help the team and I think I did very well, the best and good as I can.
De Gea proud of personal consistency
“I think I played very consistent this season and I helped the team a lot, so I’m happy with my performance. Maybe it’s one of my best seasons. I’ve had very good seasons before but I think it’s been a very good one.
“I was feeling very good and very strong in goal, so it’s been a very good season for me, but difficult for the team, for sure.”
De Gea, who has been with United since 2011, is under contract at the club until 2023. It is now likely that Henderson will leave, so the Spaniard has outlasted his competition.
He will be hoping to enjoy an equally successful individual season but a better one in terms of the club’s results when working under Ten Hag next term.