Manchester United goalkeeping legend, Edwin van der Sar, has given a ringing endorsement to the club’s current first-choice shot-stopper.
Young Spaniard David De Gea endured a tumultuous first season at Old Trafford after joining from Atletico Madrid when van der Sar retired.
The jury was out on a ‘keeper whose physicality and long-range shot-stopping abilities were questioned.
But in his second season at the Theatre of Dream’s De Gea’s cat-like reflexes came to the fore, as he began to prove himself a worthy successor to van der Sar, warding off the challenge to his place between the sticks by team-mate Anders Lindegaard.
And van der Sar believes the big hole he left when he retired with eight major trophies with United to his name has finally been adequately filled.
"The first half of the season and the year before, there were some mixed feelings and the gaffer changed it up a little bit to play Anders Lindegaard for three or four games," Van der Sar told United's official website.
"But then David came back in and we stuck with him.
"From that point, his performances grew and he became more important to the team all of the time. It has been a good turn around for him in terms of his performances and his own self-confidence in being the Manchester United goalkeeper.”
Meanwhile, De Gea has been linked to a return to Spain with Barcelona, who are on the hunt for a man to replace want-away Victor Valdes.
But having tasted what it means to be a champion in England, De Gea is adamant that his place remains at United for now.
"I'm happy in Manchester," the 22-year-old said.
"It has been a very good season, and the longer it goes, the better I'm there. I have a contract and hope to be at United for many years."