David de Gea hasn’t always had a smooth-sailing career at Manchester United after $25.29 million transfer from La Liga club Atletico Madrid in 2011.
The Spaniard enjoyed wonderful form in United’s 2013-14 campaign, being named the team’s player of the year, and in 2012-2013 season, he was the first-choice goalkeeper amidst the Red Devils Premier League championship run.
When he first arrived at Old Trafford, however, De Gea didn’t enjoy such eye-popping performances, and Anders Lindegaard often took the starting reigns in the beginning of the promising youngster’s career at United.
Looking back on this adversity, he realized that it prepared him for the future, molding him into the goalkeeper he is today. But he did strongly consider exiting the Premier League squad for a team in his home country of Spain.
“Sometimes,” he said of the possible departure from Manchester, per ESPN FC. “It was difficult when you get a lot of criticism like I did. But I kept strong and I always tried to remain positive. I loved training. It was a great pleasure so I just did my work and worked through it.
“Those early days were difficult for me and my family. But when you play for a big club like Manchester United it is normal when you don’t play well. I am glad it happened in some ways because the criticism makes you stronger.”
In United’s 2-1 win over Everton this past weekend, De Gea was the crucial man in preserving victory for his side, his first-class play highlighted by his stop on Leighton Baines’ penalty kick. Even the opposing goalkeeper, United States international Tim Howard, approached De Gea to congratulate him on his showing.
Nonetheless, the Madrid-born net minder wouldn’t accept the credit of victory for himself.
“I didn’t win the match. It was the team who won the match. We scored and defended well. It was about the team,” he said.