By 90Min
January 21, 2018

The rise of goalkeeper David de Gea since joining Manchester United in 2011 is almost an unprecedented one, with the Spaniard going from a heavily criticised, blunder-prone weed of a man to an authoritative figure whose command of his area in Peter Schmeichel esque.

The 27-year-old is now recognised by most as one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League, if not the world, with his performance in the Red Devils' 3-1 away victory over Arsenal earlier this season one of particular notice. 

In that victory, the former Atletico Madrid custodian made a record-equalling 14 saves, a rather substantial contribution to the 79 he has been forced to make all season - which currently sits him third highest in the English top flight this season.

However, unlike those around him in that list, De Gea's stops have, for the most part, been match defining, with stats showing he is the most effective in between the sticks across Europe's top leagues. 

According to Opta, the 25-times capped Spain international has kept more clean sheets, 14, than any other goalkeeper in the continent's big-five league this term, going some way in explaining why he has been consistently chased by Spanish giants Real Madrid for a number of years. 

Lost Blancos see the 27-year-old as the perfect replacement for their current rather underwhelming number one Keylor Navas, whose troubles at the other end of the pitch have been just as contributory to Zinedine Zidane's side's lacklustre showings as their lack of goals in this season. 

Back at Old Trafford meanwhile, De Gea's heroics have been instrumental in Jose Mourinho's side's success this term, which sees them sat promisingly for automatic Champions League qualification for next season. 

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