Rio Ferdinand has insisted that Manchester United will “miss” David de Gea after the Spaniard made his exit from Old Trafford this summer.
The 32-year-old former United shot-stopper secured the Premier League Golden Glove award — the second time in his career — last season thanks to his impressive 17 clean sheets.
According to reports, De Gea had initially agreed to a contract extension before United made a stunning U-turn and allowed the club legend to leave as a free agent.
Rio Ferdinand defends former United teammate David de Gea
De Gea’s departure from United paved the way for Erik ten Hag to reunite with former Ajax shot-stopper Andre Onana, who arrived from Inter Milan in a £47.2m deal.
Ferdinand has hailed former United teammate De Gea as the “best shot-stopper around” and believes the Red Devils will miss the former Spain international.
The United legend also claimed that a player of De Gea’s calibre would not have been “relieved of his duties” in any other era.
MORE UNITED STORIES
Speaking to TNT Sports, Ferdinand said: “I think they’ll miss him. He’s arguably the best shot-stopper around, won the Golden Glove last year.
“So, I don’t think in any other era would the keeper that won the Golden Glove be relieved of his duties at a football club.
“But the way that the game’s going now, in wanting the goalkeeper to be attached to the 10 outfield players and be a footballer now, that’s why we’re in that situation.
“They brought in a goalkeeper whose one of his best attributes is his footballing ability, the ability to play over various distances, comfortable on the ball, wants to be a part of the footballing side of the team, and that’s a huge part of what Erik ten Hag wants from his goalkeeper, so I understand that decision.”
Andre Onana settling into life at United
Onana is predicted to take his place between the sticks for United in their Premier League opener against Wolves on Monday night, with kick-off slated for 8pm UK time.
Speaking ahead of the clash at Old Trafford, Ten Hag believes summer signings Onana and Mason Mount are both in a positive place at the club.
“I think they [Mount and Onana] are in a good place,” he told Manchester United’s official website.
“And it’s definitely an advantage when Mason was in from the start, [in the] first session [of pre-season] he was there.
“Andre came in, we were just in the USA, came into the team and then the tour.
“So, you are so intense, you live together and then you know each other very quick. So that’s a big advantage. They are there.”