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Sunday 4 December 2016

Van Gaal: I didn't rate De Gea when I arrived at Man United

De Gea
De Gea

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he was initially uncertain about David de Gea's goalkeeping.

De Gea claimed the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for the second year running, following an impressive 2013-14 under David Moyes.

However, Van Gaal scoured for goalkeepers during the summer transfer window and United were linked with Argentina's World Cup finalist Sergio Romero and Kenneth Vermeer, who joined Feyenoord from Ajax.

And despite an unconvincing start to the season in which he conceded soft goals against Swansea, Leicester and West Ham, De Gea recovered and was named in the Premier League Team of the Year.

"He has made very good development this year because in the beginning I was not so sure of him," Van Gaal admitted. "But now he is fantastic and has saved us a lot of times."

De Gea (left) is only the fourth United player to win the Player of the Year award in successive seasons, following Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Roy Keane.

With his contract due to expire next season, De Gea is understood to be torn between signing an extension at United and leaving for Real Madrid.

Real sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti after he failed to win either La Liga or the Champions League this season and former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is expected to replace him.

The incumbent goalkeeper at Real, Iker Casillas, has also said he would welcome the competition from De Gea at the Bernabeu.

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