Ex-Liverpool hero: Manchester United star player of the year, Arsene Wenger says 'outstanding'

Former Liverpool star Jon Arne Riise, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, were among those to pay tribute to Manchester United's David de Gea.

Manchester United lost 2-1 in the FA Cup to Arsenal, but it was a scoreline which easily could have been higher.

As the second half progressed and United tried to find an equaliser, it was Arsenal who came closest to scoring, only to be denied by two excellent saves from Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.

The Spaniard has become accustomed to being the hero at United, keeping them in games as he did against Newcastle last week, but the Red Devils simply did not have enough in attack to force a replay.

His heroics did not go unnoticed though, with former Liverpool hero Jon Arne Riise using his Twitter page to suggest the goalkeeper could be a potential player of the year candidate.

There are likely to be strong calls for Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez for the coveted award, while displays of Coutinho since the turn of the year is also throwing him into the mix. 

Harry Kane looks like a shoe-in for the young player award, but he could well pick up votes for the top honour too.

Opposing manager at Old Trafford last night, celebrating what has recently been come to be regarded as a rare win at the stadium, Arsene Wenger also had praise for David de Gea.

He told Arsenal.com: "De Gea made one or two outstanding saves again tonight."

The Gunners had eight shots on target to United's five, a worrying statistic for United to be at the wrong end of, let alone the scoreline for a match they are playing at home.

Their poor defending contributed to their loss, and continues to put David de Gea under the spotlight. If they want to keep the focus away from his heroics amid interest from Spanish clubs, they need to start ensuring he has less to do.

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