The 23-year-old Spaniard has spoken of his admiration for American goalkeeper Tim Howard ahead of Everton's home clash with United this Sunday lunchtime.
Howard was caught in the media spotlight over the summer after his heroics during the United States' World Cup campaign, particularly in the fixture against Belgium where he made an unbelievable 16 saves.
De Gea praised the keeper in an interview with ManUtd.com: "Maybe, without him, they might have lost that [Belgium] game four or five-nil. He played really well. When you have a game like that, your confidence just gets bigger. You always hope to have games like that.
"He is a really experienced goalkeeper who has played many, many games in the Premier League. He is brave, quick around his goal and a great shot-stopper. He is a great keeper."
Howard, aged 35, was brought to the Premier League by legendary United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2003, and during his three seasons with the Red Devils he managed to win the FA Cup, Community Shield and League Cup.
After falling out of favour at Old Trafford, Howard joined Everton on an initial loan deal in 2006 before signing permanently when his loan expired. Since then, he has been an influential figure in Everton's side and has only missed seven league games in nine seasons with the club.
Despite his World Cup heroics, Howard has been criticised by Everton supporters for his poor form this season. He and his defence have conceded 14 goals in just six games, which is currently the worst defensive record in the league.
With United's vast array of attacking talent, if there was ever a weekend when he and the Everton back-line needed to be on top form, it is most certainly this one.