What a season it has been for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. The young Spaniard came into the campaign off the back of a poor summer with the Spanish Olympic Team and still harbouring plenty of criticism for many of his performances the season previous.
Throughout the first half of the campaign he once again had to battle quite openly with Anders Lindegaard for a first-team slot. The media continued to suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson was no longer a fan of the former Atletico Madrid custodian and would move him on in the summer. Gary Neville laid into him after the draw with Tottenham Hotspur in January; this season was looking much the same for the youngster.
Then it came; one night in Madrid. After an excellent performance in the Bernabeu it was as if the cloud over his head dispersed and finally he had come-of-age; he has not looked back.
That has left poor Anders Lindegaard watching from the side-lines twiddling his idle thumbs. With his automatic spot as Denmark’s number one under threat from Kasper Schmeichel it is expected he may ask for a move away from Manchester this summer; with West Ham reported with an interest this weekend gone.
So then what do United do? I suggested yesterday that they give Ben Amos a try as the long term number two; but let me post my own rebuttal. As I think I know the perfect addition to United’s goalkeeping ranks; and he won’t cost a penny.
Earlier this month Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer made it clear he was not yet in any form of contract extension talks with his current employers despite his current deal expiring in a couple of months. It is also common knowledge that Roma stopper Maarten Stekelenburg was on a London-bound flight on Transfer Deadline Day before it was diverted home ahead of the eventual sacking of the Serie A sides coach Zdenek Zeman.
So the writing seems on the wall; The Australian’s five year career in London seems to be at an end.
At 40-years-old some may be considering retirement but not Mark. I mean he is hardly out of shape for his age and could still easily do a job at this level; and what a player to have around the young de Gea. With 17 years’ experience in English football he has seen and done almost everything and would be able to give vital guidance to the clubs future number one.
There is one stumbling block in any move. Schwarzer wants to keep going until the next World Cup with Australia so may therefore need first-team football; something that would be far from guaranteed at Old Trafford. With recently crowned A-League champions seemingly on the brink of losing Matthew Ryan, the man destined to succeed Schwarzer as the Socceroos number one, a move back to Oz may be a perfect way of ensuring his seat on the plane to Brazil.
However the lure of potential silverware and Champions League football with Manchester United could be enough to make him reconsider partial retirement in his homeland.
Would Schwarzer be a good addition for Manchester United?
image: © nicksarebi