herald

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Ferguson: De Gea mistakes surprised us all

EVEN Alex Ferguson would admit David de Gea will face the sternest test of his young Premier League life at Bolton on Saturday.

An £18million summer signing from Atletico Madrid, 20-year-old De Gea has endured a difficult start to life at Manchester United.

Ferguson had to defend the Spain Under-21 star for his performance in the Community Shield at Wembley.

But while an argument on De Gea's behalf could be made over Manchester City's two goals, there was nothing anyone could say to lessen the impact of an error that gifted West Brom an equaliser in the opening game of the season.

Since then, things have got better for De Gea.

He kept a clean sheet against Tottenham on his competitive Old Trafford bow, then contributed an excellent penalty save to the 8-2 win over Arsenal, even if Theo Walcott's goal did fly through his legs.

Next up are Bolton, who, with Kevin Davies leading their attack, are well capable of making life difficult for De Gea.

“David made a couple of mistakes in his first games, which we didn't expect and nor did he,” Ferguson said.

Sensational

“It was unusual because his form at Atletico Madrid as an 18-year-old was sensational.

“There is no doubt we have a player of great potential. Our job at this club is to realise that potential and make sure he becomes a top goalkeeper.

“He'll do that once he gains experience and adapts to the physical nature of the league.

“It is a different game here compared to Spain – there are more crosses to deal with and there is more contact. Bit by bit, we will get there with him.”

However the same things might have been said about Javier Hernandez 12 months ago and the Mexican did not do too badly in his debut season.

Hernandez was among those who did not find the target during that Gunners' destruction.

However, with Danny Welbeck ruled out by a hamstring injury, the 23-year-old seems set to make his first start of the season at the Reebok Stadium. And strike partner Wayne Rooney is among those expecting big things.

“I'm looking forward to him doing the same, if not scoring more goals for us, this season,” said Rooney.

“People know about him now but, if you look at all the top players around the world, people know how they play and it's still difficult to stop them.”

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