Hernandez lauds 'world's best' De Gea
Javier Hernandez has called David de Gea the best goalkeeper in the world and declared that his Manchester United team-mate is one of the planet's finest footballers.
De Gea, an £18 million signing from Atletico Madrid in 2011, cemented his place in the United side in the second half of last season and, besides helping his club win the title, was voted a member of the PFA Team of the Year.
And Mexico international Hernandez believes that the Spaniard now ranks ahead of keepers such as Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon and is at the top of his trade.
"David had to be up there with the best players in the world right now," Hernandez told United's official website. "For me he's the best goalkeeper in the world because we all talk about development and having to go down a certain career path and, of course, at his age many people would have been scared to give him the place he's earned for himself.
"But I think that this season he's really benefitted from being given the opportunity to play on a regular basis. He was first choice between the sticks and I think that any player in the world shows his true ability when he gets the chance to have a decent run of games in the side, and David has really shown his quality. He was voted the best keeper in the Premier League, so I'd say he's doing very nicely thank you."
De Gea helped Spain's Under-21 team win the European Championships for their age group but team-mate Antonio Valencia believes it will not be long before he is in goal for the senior side.
Captain Casillas, Barcelona's Victor Valdes and Liverpool's Pepe Reina are the three goalkeepers manager Vicente del Bosque has included in his squad for the current Confederations Cup as well as the last two major tournaments , both of which they won.
"He's been perfect in everything he's done," Valencia said. "It's incredible what he's achieved. He's shown once again just what an important keeper he is for Manchester United. He's not far off breaking into the full Spanish national side. All his team-mates here really hope that in two or three years he can be shot-stopping for Spain for the whole 90 minutes."