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Schmeichel: Chelsea match was making of De Gea

23 Feb 2019

Man Utd legend impressed by current Old Trafford No 1's journey from pivotal match to becoming one of the world's best

David De Gea has been at his very best in Manchester United's resurgence, and his journey to the top of his game has impressed another Old Trafford goalkeeping great.

Peter Schmeichel, who won five Premier League titles in the 1990s with Man Utd, says De Gea took time to fill the No 1 shirt following his move from Atletico Madrid as a 20-year-old in 2011.

But after a difficult start to his debut 2011/12 season, a spectacular performance in a 3-3 draw at Chelsea in 2012 was the making of De Gea.

Incredible development

"When David De Gea first came to the Premier League he was a small boy," Schmeichel said ahead of Man Utd's meeting with Liverpool on Sunday. "He looked like a small boy and he played like a small boy, and these are Sir Alex Ferguson's words, with big hands.

"He played Chelsea and he snapped into character with a couple of really incredible saves. From that moment on he has developed incredibly."

De Gea has since won one PL title, the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Europa League and Man Utd's Player of the Year on four occasions.

He is also one away from claiming 100 PL clean sheets.

"His physicality has changed. I think now if you ask himself, he's there, exactly where he wants to be," Schmeichel added.

"He's very often in the right position to make these kind of saves and he does it time and time again, and it's very impressive."

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