Former defender and coach Phil Neville told the Manchester Evening News that Manchester United must do everything in their power to ensure David de Gea extends his contract at Old Trafford this summer.
The Spaniard, who has wowed supporters with his performances this season, has a little over a year left on his current contract and Neville believes extending it should be Louis van Gaal’s priority as he looks to build a side capable of challenging Chelsea for the Premier League title next season.
‘’The biggest thing [United need to do this summer] is David de Gea, and keeping him at the club,’’ said Neville.
‘’From when he first came, to how he is now, I don’t think I’ve seen a player develop and improve as quickly as him. I saw with Cristiano Ronaldo, I saw the development in terms of his performance, his size, his stature and physique.
‘’He’s now at the stage where you would say he’s world class. He’s winning football games on his own.’’
How important is De Gea to Van Gaal’s Premier League ambitions?
As touched upon by Neville, the Spanish goalkeeper is now at a point where he is almost winning games by himself.
He has made a number of headlining saves this season and won United points when they could have easily lost, and looking at the league table, it’s easy to see just how big of an impact he has had.
If not for De Gea, the Red Devils may well have seen another season fizzle out without the prospect of qualifying for Champions League football.
The ambition for Van Gaal now, however, is much bigger. He has to take the squad of players he currently has, add to them and ensure that they are the ones holding the Premier League title at the end of the 2015/16 season. Therefore, the importance of a world class and consistent goalkeeper can’t be overlooked.
If United are to lift silverware next season, then it’s important that De Gea is still at Old Trafford and committed to the long-term future of the club.