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Why is David De Gea so criminally underrated outside of England?

David De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League but is barely recognised in other countries

Ask any Manchester United fans who their best player has been since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club and their answer will be unanimous.

David De Gea has blossomed from a frail and inconsistent goalkeeper into undoubtedly the best stopper in the Premier League.


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So why isn’t he recognised elsewhere?

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So why isn’t he recognised elsewhere?

His utterly jaw dropping performance against Arsenal two weeks ago cemented that status.

But outside of England it’s a different story.

Real Madrid obviously regard De Gea highly when you consider their tedious pursuit of him over the last three years or so.

De Gea produced one of the most memorable performances for years against Arsenal

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De Gea produced one of the most memorable performances for years against Arsenal

But instead of coughing up a substantial fee for a player who is open to a return to Spain, they’ve kept their hands in their pockets and settled for the vastly inferior Keylor Navas.

We’re talking about the biggest club in the world settling for a goalkeeper not fit to lace De Gea’s boots.

Then again, there are some out there who actually value Navas higher than the United stopper.

Keylor Navas has been the most worked goalkeeper among Europe's elite

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Yep – this man

France Football carried out a recent poll where they asked former goalkeepers, including Santiago Canizares and Francesco Toldo, to rank the current set.

And De Gea came SEVENTH – three places below Navas.

He was  also behind Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Lloris in the standings, despite making the PFA Team of the Year in four of the last five seasons.

And it gets worse.

Hugo Lloris salutes the Tottenham fans after famous draw at Real Madrid

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Lloris isn’t at De Gea’s level

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At the terribly named FIFA Best awards back in October, each position was recognised with Gianluigi Buffon taking home the prize for best goalkeeper.

No qualms with that, particularly after his emotional year for both Italy and Juventus that saw him reach the Champions League final.

But De Gea didn’t even make the 15-man shortlist.

Gianluigi Buffon was named best keeper by Uefa for the 2016-17 season

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Gianluigi Buffon was named best keeper by Uefa for the 2016-17 season

Even the likes of Danijel Subasic and Claudio Bravo – yes Claudio Bravo – were nominated, but De Gea supposedly didn’t do enough to earn that kind of recognition.

Truly baffling.

And his club and international team-mate Juan Mata has rightly jumped to his defence.

Mata has defended De Gea

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Mata has defended De Gea

In an interview with ManUtd.comMata said: “You know what?

“I don’t know why some people don’t appreciate him and how good he is.

“He’s not always on the list of the best goalkeepers in the world, or whatever these awards are, and, for me, it’s definite.

“He has to be in the top three, top two or top one.

“For me, he’s the best and it would be nice if more journalists, not just in England as he is very well appreciated in England, but in different countries, realised how good he is.”

Cherish that kiss, Juan

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Cherish that kiss, Juan

Mata’s comments hit the nail on the head, bringing to light that debate that De Gea simply isn’t acknowledged in other countries.

There are some rumours that De Gea’s occasional flirting with Real has burnt any bridges he had with their arch rivals and his boyhood club Atletico.

But while individual awards are merely bonuses for most players, the fact he keeps getting overlooked is truly puzzling.

Let’s just hope this bizarre treatment convinces De Gea to stay in the Premier League, as it would be far worse a place without his weekly superhuman masterclasses.


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