• @MarkMcInerney2



Real Madrid have signed David De Gea for an undisclosed fee! That sentence, for the last 3 summer transfer windows, has brought nightmares to every Man Utd fan. This summer, has seen Man Utd and De Gea say “No” to Real Madrid’s advances. The three-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award winner will be Man Utd’s no1 shot stopper for the forthcoming season. With an impressive 200 appearances and 75 clean sheets in the Premier League, he proves he is up there with the best. How valuable is he though, to Mourinho’s second season at Old Trafford?

Let’s remind ourselves of Manchester United’s previous relationship with Real Madrid, regarding transfers of key players. In 2003, Real came knocking for the much loved and still adored David Beckham. The right footed wizard swapped Manchester for Madrid which would be the start of Real’s raid on United ’s prized assets. Three years later, they came knocking again, this time it was for the flying Dutchman, Ruud Van Nistelrooy; who at that stage, had scored 95 goals in 150 appearances. This included a long standing run of scoring in 10 consecutive games in 2003. Finally, there was the transfer of the beloved Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009. This transfer went down a bit easier with United fans for two reasons. Firstly, he dreamt of playing at Real Madrid since he was a child. Secondly, he gave Man Utd one more season allowing him to show case his talents to Real Madrid and go for, at the time, a world record fee.

I can feel a shift in transfers now, in terms of player power. The Premier League has riches even Barcelona and Real Madrid are struggling to match. When would you have heard of Everton spending £45m on Gylfi Sigurdsson? The majority of teams in the Premier League don’t need to sell for money, however they see a rationale in not keeping an unhappy player. However, if a player loves his home town club or has aspired to play for a prestigious club, it’s going to be very difficult to stop that player moving on.

Zinedine Zidane’s influence at Real Madrid cannot be devalued in terms of their transfer policy. In previous years, with Beckham, RVN and Ronaldo, the Madrid president would have told the manager he is buying a Galactico and that player arrived. It didn’t matter if the manager agreed or not. Zidane’s stature at Madrid, pre-manager, was highly regarded. Thus, winning La Liga and UCL as their manager has allowed him to provide direction as to the players he wants. Mourinho has admitted the door was open and possibly the fax machine was working this summer for De Gea to leave but he decided to stay. Which is a testament to Mourinho’s man management and the players love for the club.

The impact of “Dave Stays” cannot be underestimated. He is a world class keeper with Manual Neuer coming closest to competing for that title. De Gea has developed into a world class talent as Sir Alex said he would. He produces consistent performances week in, week out. His distribution is second to none, shot stopping is world class and agility makes him, for me, the best goalkeeper in the world. He is worth 10-15 points a season and if United are going to push to challenge for the title, then keeping De Gea could be United’s best transfer business this summer!

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