Football - Beasant a fan of De Gea

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant is expecting David de Gea to maintain the impressive progress from his second season at Manchester United.

PA Sport
Premier League - De Gea vows to keep improving
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David de Gea gained selection for the PFA Premier League Team of the Year last campaign

Throughout his time at Old Trafford, De Gea has been forced to endure plenty of criticism, mostly based around his slender frame and discomfort under the high ball.

It is to the Spaniard's immense credit therefore that he managed to gain selection for the PFA Premier League Team of the Year following a succession of brilliant saves during the last campaign.

Beasant was certainly impressed. And, speaking at the handover of a brand new Vauxhall ADAM car to England fan Nick Tedder, he said: "De Gea had a tough start in the Premier League.

"He had big boots to fill because Edwin van der Sar had been fantastic for Manchester United. He was a mature and experienced goalkeeper and they won major trophies with him in the team.

"There will still be opposition teams who might focus on what is considered to his weakness, his crossing. But the encouraging thing is that whilst he might not be as dominant as you would like your goalkeeper to be, he is not fearful.

"He is persistent in coming for the ball. He will get his whack and his free-kicks.

"The key thing is that he makes vital saves.

"That and the consistency he showed were vital for Manchester United in winning the title last season and he is going to be very important for them again this term."

Sir Alex Ferguson splashed out £17.8million on the then 20-year-old to sign him from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

Ferguson had never forgiven himself for not trusting his instinct on Petr Cech a few years before, allowing Jose Mourinho to sign the Czech Republic keeper for Chelsea instead.

Cech has remained at Stamford Bridge ever since and will be in the visitors' goal opposite De Gea at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Yet Beasant feels there were significant differences between the two signings, which made it obvious De Gea's transition to the Premier League would take longer.

"De Gea was younger than Petr Cech was when he came into English football," said Beasant. "He wasn't a full international either and didn't have the experience either.

"Those first few months were a big learning curve. But now De Gea has come through that sticky spell and he is a top, top keeper."

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