It’s one of those stats that might mean nothing, but La Marca points out that Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea had a terrible record against Real Madrid when he played at city rival Atletico from 2009-2011, losing all five of his games against the La Liga giant, while conceding 11 goals. At Real’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium, the scene of tonight’s titanic UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg clash between the Spanish champion and de Gea’s United, his record is even worse: eight goals conceded in three games.
Nevertheless, de Gea believes he is a much-improved goalkeeper after 18 months at Manchester United, despite being blamed for several goals United has conceded so far this season. The 22-year-old has even lost his starting place to Anders Lindegaard on a few occasions, but he believes the tentative performances for which he received so much criticism are behind him. "When you arrive at a new club it is normal there will be low points," de Gea said. "The important thing is to learn from them and improve. I know I am much better than when I first arrived at Manchester United."
United coach Alex Ferguson insists that some of the criticism leveled at his young No. 1 has been unfair. “It's like a young kid taking his first steps forward, he wobbles, then gets up, wobbles, then gets up again and eventually he walks,” he said. “The boy is walking now."
Perhaps, but reports claim that de Gea could be on his way back to Spain next season, as Ferguson has been scouting Stoke City’s Asimir Begovic as a potential replacement.