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Spanish Dave hits back

Atletico Madrid's goalkeeper David de GeDavid De Gea has hit back at the critics who had labelled him a liability during his first seasons at the club, when the Spaniard was heavily criticised for failing to cut an assured figure in goal and being to prone to committing costly mistakes.

As United regained the Premier League title last season, however, De Gea emerged as a crucial figure in the squad, proving that despite being just 23-year-old, he can already be considered one of the best shot stoppers in the world and definitely one of the best in the Premier League.

“If I am honest, yes (the criticism was unfair).

“I was very young and I had arrived at a new club from another country,” said the Spaniard in an interview, published today.

“I was learning a whole new language, I was adapting to a new style of football and new team-mates.”

After failing to secure a regular starting spot during his first six months of his career at Old Trafford, when him and Anders Lindegaard were often rotated, last season De Gea performed admirably throughout the campaign, producing heroic displays away at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

This season, despite conceding more than he would have liked, the Spaniard has been one of the few positives amid United’s stuttering start to the campaign and has emerged as a potential target for Barcelona, as the Catalan club looks to replace Victor Valdes, who’s set to depart the Camp Nou in the summer.

“That’s a lot to take in and it’s natural that it will take a little bit of time to settle,” explained De Gea, who’s been an ever-present figure in United’s Premier League campaign so far this season.

“It wasn’t easy hearing this criticism but I tried to use it to motivate me and make me stronger.

“I think I have improved as a goalkeeper because of it, actually.

“I like to think that from bad things you can derive good results.”

Those who laughed at De Gea, while hailing the infallible Joe Hart must have been gorging on humble pie over the last few months.

Dan