David de Gea's performances in a Manchester United shirt have not gone unnoticed this season, and it comes as little surprise to see Real Madrid reportedly pulling out all the stops to try and secure his signature.
The 24-year-old has been the subject of fierce speculation in papers such as the Express linking him with a move to the Spanish capital and it remains to be seen whether he will be playing his football in the Premier League next season.
Nonetheless, if the worst were to happen, and de Gea did leave for Real Madrid in the summer, the next best thing the Old Trafford hierarchy can do is step up their pursuit of Tottenham's Hugo Lloris.
The Frenchman is likely to command a larger fee than United can expect to receive from the Spanish capital for de Gea - Daniel Levy would make sure of that - but he is one of few goalkeepers who is as good, if not better, than the Red Devils' current number one.
Based on this notion, it is interesting to analyse how the Opta stats rank the duo.
|Team||Saves per Game||Saves per Goal Conceded||Clean Sheet per Game||Crosses Claimed (%)||Punches per Game||Throwing Accuracy (%)||Goal Kick Accuracy (%)||Error Lead To Goal||Appearances|
|David de Gea||Man Utd||2.53||2.53||0.29||100||0.18||99||57||1||34|
At first glance it appears that Lloris emerges superior, particularly when it comes to the number of saves the Frenchman has made per game. But, in actual fact, de Gea has been responsible for completing more saves per every goal he has conceded, while he has averaged a greater clean-sheet rate across the season.
De Gea's ability to command the penalty area has improved considerably since his initial days as a Manchester United player, as proven by his 100% cross claim rate. Lloris emerges inferior in this key area, although he has averaged more punches than his Spanish counterpart on a match-by-match basis.
There's little to split the duo in terms of their distribution. Where de Gea steals the plaudits with his near-perfect throwing, Lloris is the more prolific with his accuracy from goal-kicks. Equally, the two leading Premier League goalkeepers have made very few costly errors this term; just one apiece.
It's neck and neck when it comes to choosing a victor, which is promising news if you're a Manchester United fan. Should the Red Devils lose their star man to Real Madrid and the sunny reaches of Spain, it is quite possible that Louis van Gaal will launch an assault on White Hart Lane for the equally outstanding Lloris.