Owen on De Gea - 'I said years ago' he would be best keeper in the world

Manchester United old boy Michael Owen has been talking about the best keepers in the world. Manuel Neuer is now, but is David De Gea next?

Manuel Neuer seemed to confirm his status as the world’s best goalkeeper once again this week - with a match-winning display against Arsenal in the Champions League.

His early save from Yaya Sanogo, penalty stop against Mesut Ozil and speed off his line when faced with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain helped Bayern ride an early Gunners storm - before winning the tie 2-0.

It had many a football fan and pundit, famous and not, singing his praises on Twitter including Manchester United legend and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville.

He said of Neuer after the game:

That received a response from one of his old team-mates - Michael Owen.

The former Liverpool and Manchester United striker responded by saying:

Which seemed to cause something of a debate. Many got in touch with Owen with their own suggestions for the best keeper in world football right now, one of which was United stopper David De Gea.

The Spaniard has had his detractors in the past, and this season has seen him throw in the odd mistake (Sunderland anybody), but overall he has been one of United’s more consistent performers.

But a little over a year ago he looked in trouble - potentially on his way out after a series of ‘dodgy’ performances.

But he came of age in the Bernabeu in February last year - with an outstanding performance against Real Madrid.

From there he pushed on - claiming the Premier League Goalkeeper of the Season award for 2012-13.

But while many were not backing him a year ago - Owen believes he was.

Here is what he said on the 13th February 2013:

“Unbelievable save by De Gea. I know I'm right when I say he is top class. You wait to see how good he is in five years. Inevitably he will make more mistakes throughout his career. Even the best do, especially in his position. But considering his age he is top drawer. Look at Van der Sar when he was his age. Similar build. Then look at what he looked like in his prime. Best is yet to come.”

And when it was put to him on Twitter yesterday that De Gea was destined to be the number one - Owen agreed most profoundly:

image: © 3oheme

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch