You wanna be a legend, or not?Added by Philip Meese on 25 Apr 2015 12:03
By Frank Mead, Editor
As the end of the season draws near, and David De Gea enters he final year of his Manchester United contract, the media this morning have been speculating that manager Louis van Gaal has offered him a long term deal, worth approximately £200,000 per week, which would make him the world’s highest paid goalkeeper. I don’t think I’m being biased when I say that he is already the world’s best goalkeeper, his saves alone have probably won us around 15 – 20 points this season, and kept us on course for a return to the Champions League.
Naturally, as Iker Casillas enters the final stages of what has been a very impressive career, a Spanish goalkeeper such as De Gea (who is already better than his international team mate ever was) is of course going to get linked to one of the Classico clubs. The Real Madrid rumours have been circulating all season, and they are worrying for United fans, who don’t want to see yet another of their superstars paraded around the Bernabéu.
One thing I have noted is that nobody can get a reading of which way De Gea is thinking at the moment. Unlike when Ronaldo left in 2009, where most United fans knew that he wasn’t going to stay at the club for his entire career, De Gea hasn’t made any kind of quote on the situation. My thoughts on this have always been that he is waiting to see whether United make a swift return to the Champions League. I don’t think it’s necessarily about money, because whether he stays at Old Trafford or goes to Madrid, he knows he will be handsomely rewarded.
I think he wants to be remembered as the greatest goalkeeper ever, which means playing at the highest level. If United aren’t playing at that level, then they cannot realistically hope to keep him, as this could also have an effect on his International career for Spain. But if United do get back in Europe’s premier competition, I think he would be a fool to leave Old Trafford at this stage of his career. Biased because I support United? Maybe, but I do have valid reasons other than this.
One of the reasons I think he would be silly to move to the Bernabéu just now is their fans. People say United’s fans are spoiled by the success we have had over the last 25 years, but Madrid’s are something else. Even Ronaldo showed his frustration at them earlier this season. Think about this, Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to United since the day he made his first team debut, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he lined up for United at some point in the future. The fans booed him, simply because he made a wrong decision a few times in one game. They expect every player who puts their shirt on to do absolutely everything perfectly. Even Ronaldo, best player in the world, has been jeered from time to time, hence his reaction to those spoiled supporters a few months ago.
At United, we even sing songs about defenders such as John O’Shea and Wes Brown, four years after they left the club. Why do we do this? Because we appreciate players who, although maybe not the most naturally talented or gifted, gave their all for the club in the time they were at Old Trafford. Pride in the shirt means everything. So if De Gea stays imagine the sort of esteem he will be held in. But Real Madrid don’t create legends (other than Casillas, Raul was probably the last one), they just buy other peoples.
Another reason I think he would be better off staying here is that I think he will be tested more. In Spain, more often than not, only Barcelona and Real Madrid challenge for the major honours. Atletico are looking awesome at the moment, despite their Champions League exit earlier this week, but the chances are that when Diego Simeone is poached by another club, they will go back to being more of a top six side. So the fact remains that 85% of teams in Spain won’t get near him most weeks, because they aren’t good enough to get past Madrid’s star studded midfield to actually shoot at him. If he stays in England, he will be the undisputed best goalkeeper in the world for the next ten to twelve years.
So if De Gea was to read this now, my message to him would be simple. Stay at Old Trafford, son, and become a legend. Or go to Madrid, and become just another player. But you don’t deserve that. More importantly, Real Madrid, and their spoiled fans, don’t deserve you.