The former Red Devils coach considers a Spain international to have been a “terrific asset” at Old Trafford and expects that standing to be maintained
David de Gea knows that his standards have “dipped a bit in the last year”, says Eric Steele, but the Spanish goalkeeper is still considered to be a “fantastic asset” for Manchester United.
Questions are once again being asked of the Red Devils’ go-to option between the sticks.
De Gea did not cover himself in glory during his last Premier League outing, with a finger of blame pointed in his direction for Sheffield United’s first goal in a shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
It is not the first time that a Premier League title winner has had to offer a response to supposed professional wobbles.
The 30-year-old shot-stopper is a four-time Player of the Year at United, with his consistency offering a rare glimmer of hope during the regression endured on the back of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.
Moves elsewhere have been mooted for the Spaniard on a regular basis, but he has committed to a long-term contract in Manchester and retained his No.1 spot.
That position is now under threat from England international Dean Henderson, with many calling for a change in approach from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Former United coach Steele, who worked with De Gea following his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2011, feels any tactical tweaks would be hasty at this stage, with there confidence on his part that a seasoned performer will prove his worth once more.
“He’s won everything at Manchester United, alongside some of the individual awards – Player of the Year, being voted by his fellow pros into the PFA team,” Steele told Sky Sports.
“He has had a terrific career. You have little dips in form and I’m sure David will agree that he has dipped a little bit in the last year, but his experience, he’s 30 years of age and in his prime, he’ll come through that.
“He has been a terrific asset to the club and I’m sure it will long continue.”
De Gea has taken in 23 appearances for United this season and has remained the favoured option of Solskjaer in Premier League and Champions League competition, with Henderson having to make do with domestic cup outings and 224 minutes of top-flight action as injury cover.