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Manager Watch: Mourinho vs. Guardiola

Manager Watch

De Gea receives VDS seal of approval

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea received a glowing appraisal of his abilities from Old Trafford predecessor Edwin van der Sar, while the Spaniard has reiterated his desire to stay at the club.

• De Gea hopes for Rooney stay

De Gea established himself as United's undisputed No. 1 this season and his impressive displays between the posts helped the Red Devils win the Premier League title and earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

And Van der Sar, who won eight major trophies in six years in Manchester, feels that his gloves have been well and truly filled by the former Atletico Madrid youngster.

"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 said to 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.

"Of course, the PFA recognition was great but the main thing you want is to win the Premier League. Personal accolades are nice but the main thing is winning something with the team. That was always my preferred choice.

"As long as your team-mates are happy with you and your manager plays you every week, those are the best accolades you can get."

De Gea has been linked with a return to Spain with Barcelona, who are searching for a replacement for outgoing keeper Victor Valdes, but he has repeatedly stated his desire to stay at United.

And the 22-year-old, currently preparing to captain Spain at the European Under-21 Championship, once more outlined his ambition to remain in Manchester.

"I'm happy in Manchester," De Gea 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."


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