De Gea ranking second in Europe for saves made is a worrying trend for United

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has come to his side’s rescue on countless times already this season.

After being an unused substitute throughout the European Championships, the 31-year-old was no doubt expecting a fierce battle with Dean Henderson in pre-season, to start the season as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

But the one-time England international struggled with the aftereffects of contracting coronavirus which gave the Spaniard the opportunity to start the season in the ascendancy.

After that infamous Europa League penalty shootout defeat in Gdansk just a couple of months prior, de Gea has looked back to his best this season and looks to have overcome his slump in form, and restored his self-belief and confidence.

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United’s number one is back to being a one-man rescue act almost on a weekly basis.

Thwarting the opposition from impossible angles and continually producing world class saves, de Gea’s fear factor looks to have returned.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick lauded de Gea “outstanding” after our FA Cup win against Aston Villa and believes the Spaniard is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

de Gea far too busy this season

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De Gea’s return to form is a much-pleasing sight but the volume of shots he is facing is equally worrying.

The addition of World Cup winner Raphael Varane was meant to shore up our backline, but the Frenchman has struggled with injuries and club captain Harry Maguire’s best form has alluded him since the European Championships.

United’s vulnerable defence has resulted in de Gea having to bail us out time and time again.

According to FBref, only Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario (88) has made more saves than de Gea (80) across Europe’s top five leagues so far this season.

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It’s little wonder the Spanish international has only five clean sheets from 22 Premier League games this campaign when his goal is constantly being peppered.

Although de Gea has conceded 30 top-flight goals this season, he is outperforming every other goalkeeper across Europe when it comes to the amount of goals he has prevented.

According to FBref, at this stage of this season, the former Atletico Madrid man was expected to have conceded 37.8 goals, but time and time again, de Gea has performed miracles to prevent certain goals.

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Having played no part in Spain’s World Cup qualifying campaign and his last cap for his nation coming in October 2020, de Gea will be hoping to maintain his current form and wrestle the number one spot from Unai Simon in time for this winter’s World Cup.

The battle for places nationally will only benefit Manchester United. A focused, confident and motivated de Gea is a sight to behold and all we need now is the rest of his teammates to match the standards he is consistently reaching.

If David de Gea maintains his current form it’s hard to see past him winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for a record fifth time.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.