David de Gea backed to emulate Peter Schmeichel & Edwin van der Sar at Man Utd as former coach calls for new contract

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Peter Schmeichel David de Gea Edwin van der Sar
David de Gea is capable of emulating Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar by playing for Manchester United towards his 40s, says Eric Steele.
  • Keeper signed in 2011
  • About to make more history
  • Questions of his future

WHAT HAPPENED? The Spanish goalkeeper, who moved to Old Trafford in 2011, is seeing questions asked of his future as his contract runs down. He has broken the club record for Premier League clean sheets and will overtake the legendary Alex Stepney for most appearances by a Red Devils goalkeeper when facing West Ham on Sunday. De Gea is still only 32 years of age and former United keeping coach Steele – who advised Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the promising shot-stopper from Atletico Madrid over a decade ago – feels there could be the best part of another 10 years to come.

WHAT THEY SAID: Steele has told the Daily Mail when asked if De Gea can follow the lead of Schmeichel and Van der Sar, who played through to 39 and 41 respectively: “Why not? He looks after himself. Why can’t he do what Edwin and Peter did? He’s been a great servant to the club and contributed to some really great times. In terms of every record he seems to be breaking, he’s been phenomenal and no-one is more proud then me. When he beats Alex Stepney’s record that is something that will put him in the history books at Man United forever.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: United have been unable to agree fresh terms with De Gea so far, amid talk of a ‘Ronaldo Rule’ being implemented at Old Trafford that will require the Spaniard to agree a reduced deal, but Steele hopes a compromise can be reached that suits all parties. He added: “He’s still in his prime. He’s still young as a goalkeeper but look at the experience. He’s not going to be far off 550 games by the end of the season, and that’s at 32 years of age. I wouldn’t want him to be lost to Manchester United and the Premier League. Hopefully they will get this deal sorted and he stays part of the Ten Hag era. It’s down to David and the club. I think it’s about time it was sorted. We keep hearing it’s going to be resolved but we’re in May now. His contract runs out at the end of June. It would be nice to have an announcement to say which way it’s going. All I can say is that I would be very saddened to lose David after the 12 years he’s given.”

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David de Gea Manchester United 2022-23

Peter Schmeichel Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar Manchester United

WHAT NEXT? De Gea is the only Premier League title winner still on United’s books, having landed that prize under Ferguson back in 2013, and has also captured FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League honours during his time in England.