Ander Herrera has insisted that Manchester United cannot afford to lose David de Gea to Real Madrid over the next few years, labelling the Spaniard as the best goalkeeper in the world.
De Gea was famously moments away from moving to the Bernabeu back in 2015 following a summer of intense speculation and a month of being left out of the squad by Louis van Gaal, but the transfer fell through at the last minute following a series of documentation issues. Since then, talk of a potential move to Madrid has continued to surface, but the consensus over the last few months has been that De Gea feels relaxed about his future and, with United enjoying greater success under Jose Mourinho, will not push for a move to the Spanish capital.
Following three years of deservedly claiming the ‘Player of the Year’ award at United, his time under the 54-year-old has been comparatively quiet. His recent performance against Everton, however, was a powerful reminder of just how crucial his presence will be to any success his side may have this season. With United a goal up against the Ronald Koeman’s side but very much on the back foot, De Gea produced vital saves from Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Siggurdson – the last player to score against him at Old Trafford, all the way back in April – to pay a platform for United to claim another litany of late goals. He also produced a truly sensational diving stop to deny Sandro Ramirez with the home side 3-0 up.
And Herrera, speaking soon after the game, noted that his teammate and close friend would not leave United as long as the continued to challenge for silverware under Mourinho.
“For me David is the number one,” he said.
“I train with him every day, I respect all the keepers like Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) and Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona) and everyone but David right now is the number one in the world.
“We are going to enjoy having him here and try to keep him at the club for as long as possible. I think he wants to be a legend in the club which is important for us. If he is not a legend already he is not too far away from being one of the legends of the club.
“Of course, I can see him staying here for more years. We need to win titles to keep him with us. That is what we did last season.
David is really happy at the moment because we are fighting for everything. We won three titles last season (Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League), and the FA Cup the year before and that is what he wants.
“Real Madrid are going to talk about it every summer because he is the best keeper in the world. But we don’t think we are far from Real Madrid, we won three titles last season, the only English team to do it and we are going to fight for everything.”