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Premier League

David de Gea backed to continue progress at Manchester United

Dave Beasant is expecting much from the young Spaniard

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant is expecting David de Gea to maintain the impressive progress from his second season at Manchester United.

Throughout his time at Old Trafford, De Gea has been forced to endure plenty of criticism, mostly based around his slender frame and discomfort under the high ball.

It is to the Spaniard's immense credit therefore that he managed to gain selection for the PFA Premier League Team of the Year following a succession of brilliant saves during the last campaign.

Beasant was certainly impressed.

And, speaking at the handover of a brand new Vauxhall ADAM car to England fan Nick Tedder, he said: "De Gea had a tough start in the Premier League.

"He had big boots to fill because Edwin van der Sar had been fantastic for Manchester United. He was a mature and experienced goalkeeper and they won major trophies with him in the team.

"There will still be opposition teams who might focus on what is considered to his weakness, his crossing.

"But the encouraging thing is that whilst he might not be as dominant as you would like your goalkeeper to be, he is not fearful.

"He is persistent in coming for the ball. He will get his whack and his free-kicks.

"The key thing is that he makes vital saves.

"That and the consistency he showed were vital for Manchester United in winning the title last season and he is going to be very important for them again this term."

Sir Alex Ferguson splashed out £17.8million on the then 20-year-old to sign him from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

Ferguson had never forgiven himself for not trusting his instinct on Petr Cech a few years before, allowing Jose Mourinho to sign the Czech Republic keeper for Chelsea instead.

Cech has remained at Stamford Bridge ever since and will be in the visitors' goal opposite De Gea at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Yet Beasant feels there were significant differences between the two signings, which made it obvious De Gea's transition to the Premier League would take longer.

"De Gea was younger than Petr Cech was when he came into English football," said Beasant.

"He wasn't a full international either and didn't have the experience either.

"Those first few months were a big learning curve.

"But now De Gea has come through that sticky spell and he is a top, top keeper."

Beyond the two goalkeepers, it will be fascinating to see how Wayne Rooney performs if, as David Moyes has suggested, the striker does start against the club who have already had two bids for him rejected.

United continue to insist Rooney will not be sold, believing there is a longer term issue about who holds the power at Old Trafford since Ferguson's retirement at stake that goes far beyond the whims of one unhappy player.

And Beasant cannot see his old club profiting at a direct rivals' expense.

"It is always said it is better to get an unhappy player out of the place, so if Wayne Rooney is making it clear he doesn't want to be at Manchester United, letting him go has to be considered," said Beasant.

"But he still has two years left on his contract so United can dictate where he is going to go. I cannot see that being to a major rival.

"The problem for Rooney is that I don't see him suiting a club abroad or him necessarily being able to adjust or like life as a footballer away from England."

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