Euro U21 - Euroscout: David de Gea

Mon, 13 Jun 09:51:00 2011

What will Manchester United be getting if they hand over £17.5 million to Atletico Madrid for David de Gea? Another Edwin van der Sar? Or a younger Massimo Taibi?

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Those were the questions a few United fans would have been asking themselves when they watched De Gea start for Spain's U21 side against their England counterparts in the opening game of the European Championship in Herning on Sunday evening.

United will be buying into the potential of De Gea, but he showed glimpses of his considerable class against an England side who were forced to live off scraps for much of the evening as Spain binged on possession.

Such a fee for a goalkeeper aged only 20 must be classified as risky business, but De Gea already has a stout background in the sport having won the Europa League with Atletico a year ago. He has established himself as one of La Liga's finest prospects.

It is easy to compare De Gea to Iker Casillas at Real Madrid, but he already looks comfortable enough to deputise for the Spain keeper at senior level despite his tender years.

His save from Daniel Sturridge seconds before the break was the type of stop all great keepers need to have in their locker, especially at a club such as United where they invariably dominate matches for long spells.

Having had little or nothing to do for most of the night, De Gea - a giant at 6ft 4ins - threw himself across goal to ensure Sturridge's shot did not hit the back of the net deep into injury time in the first half.

At that very moment, De Gea showed why he is a man in demand.

We studied his night against England in a 1-1 draw that belied the nature of Spain's dominance.

De Gea's key moments

3' De Gea was forced to show some nifty footwork to deal with a loose pass to him with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck pressing the ball.

13' De Gea looked lively as Smalling managed to get a header at goal in a crowded area. A comfortable take for the towering keeper.

45+1' De Gea makes a wonderful diving save to nudge the ball past a post after Daniel Sturridge had flicked Kyle Walker's cross goalwards. He was at full stretch to get that behind the post.

88' Had little or nothing to do in the second half, but was helpless to prevent the goal. More than a hint of offside about Welbeck's effort, but it did not detract from an assured performance from De Gea.


Handling 9/10

Concentration: 10/10

Technique: 9/10

Agility 9/10

Approximate value: £20 million


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