David de Gea is seen by many as Spain's next number one, capable of taking over from the legendary Iker Casillas. If recent reports are true, then the current Manchester United shot-stopper could replace his compatriot at club level, too.
De Gea is believed to be happy and at home in Manchester, where he is currently playing his fourth season at just 23 years of age. However, a possible move to Real Madrid could be the reason behind his hesitancy to sign a new contract, with his current deal expiring in 2016.
The name of the ex-Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper has been on the tables of the Bernabeu outfit for some time now, and it is believed that the player himself would be keen on a potential switch. But how does he compare to his potential predecessor?
Despite the criticism Casillas has faced this term, the Real Madrid shot-stopper has actually outperformed his international understudy, or so the stats say. The 33-year-old has made more number of saves per goal, while conceding fewer per appearance.
|Team||Goals Conceded / app||Saves per Goal||Distribution Acc (%)||Punches / app||Catch / app||Pass Acc (%)||Defensive Errors / app||Apps||Mins|
|David de Gea||Man Utd||1.43||1.30||67.00||0||2.14||73.00||0.14||7||630|
|Iker Casillas||Real Madrid||1.33||1.75||71.00||0.17||2||65.00||0.17||6||540|
He has also recorded the superior distribution accuracy, although De Gea proves more efficient with the ball at his feet; the 23-year-old has seen success in 73% of his attempted passes in his first seven appearances.
Importantly, De Gea has been accountable for fewer defensive errors per match, although this is a close contest. Having played in one more fixture than Casillas this term, his average represents only a marginal improvement.
De Gea was seen as a tremendous gamble when he joined United but has been one of their most consistent and best performers. The statistics may suggest that Casillas is enjoying the better season, but there's no doubt he is enduring a rapid decline.
The United shot-stopper is widely expected to upstage him at international level in the near future, and there's no reason to suggest he cannot occupy the Spanish number one shirt for the next 10 or so years. De Gea has bags of potential and the Old Trafford outfit would be desperate to keep him.