Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has lavished praise on his goalkeeper David de Gea when compared to Manuel Neuer.

United’s number one has been named as the club’s Player of the Month for November and December, drawing him level with Cristiano Ronaldo, who has also won this season’s gong twice.

Ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third-round clash against Aston Villa, Rangnick was asked whether he saw any similarities between de Gea and Neuer, who he managed during his time at Schalke.

The 63-year-old felt the pair were amongst the best goalkeepers in the world, but there was one area in particular that he believed de Gea was out on his own in.

Neuer, Manuel - Football, Goalkeeper, FC Schalke 04, Germany - announcing not to renew his contract at FC Schalke, which runs up to 2012 - next to him coach Ralf Rangnick (L) and board member Horst Heldt (R)
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RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Rangnick said: “Well, I think they are both definitely on the list of the top five goalkeepers in the world, maybe even in the top three.

“They are both in a fantastic shape, physically and as well as on the line, when it’s about controlling the box, David de Gea is probably one of the best if not the best in the world and we are very happy to have him.”

However, the German coach is not happy with how often the Spaniard is being called upon in matches and wants his teammates to do more to protect him.

Aside from an impressive performance in his first game in charge against Crystal Palace, the Reds’ performances have significantly nosedived which has resulted in de Gea constantly having to bail us out of trouble.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Rangnick added: “Honestly, as a coach, I would prefer more of those games, for example, against Crystal Palace where we don’t need him as much and in order to achieve that, we just need to make sure we don’t have too many shots on goal.

“We had too many shots on our goal, also in the first half against Wolves, and the same was true at Newcastle or even at Norwich.

“But again, on the other hand, it’s good to have someone like David in goal, a fantastic professional, a fantastic player and it’s great to work with a player like him.”

Rangnick is expected to name a strong team against Steven Gerrard’s Villains, but de Gea could be given a rare night off if the German opts to give Dean Henderson just his third start of the campaign.

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