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Sir Alex Ferguson only ever missed three Man United games and one was so he could scout David de Gea

Spain stopper was hailed as world's best after equalling Premier League record of 14 saves in match against Arsenal

Sir Alex Ferguson only ever missed three Man United games while he was manager.

One was so he could attend his son’s wedding.

One was for his brother’s wife’s funeral.

And the other was so he could scout David de Gea.


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Sir Alex Ferguson went to extreme lengths to sign David De Gea

Getty - Contributor
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Sir Alex Ferguson went to extreme lengths to sign David De Gea

Former United coach Eric Steele revealed the extreme lengths Fergie went to to sign David De Gea to the Daily Mail.

“I can only remember Sir Alex Ferguson missing two United matches,” he said.

“He missed a Manchester derby in 2000 for his son’s wedding. The other time? To scout the brilliant David de Gea.”

“I joined United in 2008 and, from that moment, we needed to be ready for the day Edwin Van Der Sar retired.

Former Manchester United keeper coach Eric Steele revealed the lengths Sir Alex Ferguson went to to sign David De Gea

PA:Empics Sport
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Steele was a goalkeeper coach at United

“I was convinced that a 19-year-old De Gea was the right man to replace him. I showed a three-minute DVD compilation to Sir Alex and then we went to watch him play for Atletico Madrid at Valencia on the night United played Scunthorpe in the League Cup.

“Sir Alex knew he was the right signing inside 65 minutes. David showed composure, concentration and reflexes. He made one terrific save that went through a load of bodies.”

Steele did not mention Ferguson’s third occasion though in the legendary manager’s book he revealed he has missed a game for his brother’s wife’s funeral.

 


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Brick wall

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Brick wall

It’s fair to say that skipping the Scunthorpe game paid off.

United snapped up the Spaniard in June 2011 for £19million from Atletico Madrid.

De Gea equalled the Premier League record for most saves in a match against Arsenal.

His 14 stops put him level with Tim Krul and Vito Mannone.

Speaking after the game De Gea said: “Sometimes, you just start a game with a really good save, with a good feeling.

“You feel that [unbeatable] but we started the game really well, we scored two important goals and it’s true that we lost a bit of control of the game after, but it was a good performance.”

Jose Mourinho called David De Gea the best keeper in the world after his display against Arsenal

Getty Images - Getty
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De Gea was in superhuman form at the Emirates

Spain’s No1 hailed by United boss Jose Mourinho as the best keeper in the world, reckoned his second half double save was the pick of the bunch.

He continued: “Probably the double save when we were winning 2-1 [in the second half].

“I think that was the most important save but, like I said, the full team defended very well and fought for the three points.

“Yes, he nearly scored an own goal, but I saved that ball and after that, I think he did a really good job.”

Wise move

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Wise move