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.
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.
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.
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.
- This panel of former goalkeepers rank David De Gea as SEVENTH in the world
- We need to talk about the fact David De Gea didn’t even make the top 15 goalkeepers in the world at the FIFA the Best Awards
- QUIZ: Can you guess these European stadiums from the sky?
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.
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.
And his club and international team-mate Juan Mata has rightly jumped to his defence.
In an interview with ManUtd.com, Mata 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.”
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.