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Did Real Madrid dodge a bullet by missing out on David de Gea?


David de Gea is everywhere at the moment, isn’t he? Sadly, it has not been for the right reasons since the 2018 WC in Russia, where he made just one save for Spain with six goals conceded from seven shots on target.

The Spanish keeper made two major mistakes in Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat against Chelsea during the FA Cup semi-final, costing the side dearly in a crucial clash.

Fans believe that De Gea can no longer be trusted, with the return of Dean Henderson a necessity to avoid jeopardizing the chances of success. The keeper is clearly a shadow of his former self with a comeback to the form visible between 2014 and 2018, a tough prospect to contemplate.

In such a scenario, one can certainly expect a chuckle from the throat of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who attempted to sign the Spaniard back in 2015 only to be rebuffed on deadline day due to a ‘fax machine failure’.

David de Gea was identified as the long-term replacement for departing legend Iker Casillas, with Keylor Navas merely looked on as a short term alternative. De Gea was 24-years-old at the time, and deemed as Casillas’ ideal replacement not just between the sticks at Real Madrid, but also in the Spanish National Team.

Destiny had other plans as it soon transpired, with the Spanish keeper’s cat like reflexes and unbelievable saves for Manchester United deemed something which could not be compromised upon by the Red Devils, resulting in a controversial and murky saga. The Los Blancos recovered well from the momentary setback, with Navas ensuring 9 clean sheets in 12 Champions League games for Real Madrid in 2015. The keeper further set a tournament record conceding just twice in 10 games for Real Madrid as they progressed to the final, eventually emerging triumphant against Atletico Madrid.

Navas once one of the most underappreciated players, flourished after being backed by the players and manager Zinedine Zidane. The Costa Rican stopper’s excellent efforts complemented him on the pitch, with the Los Blancos left stunned after not anticipating this level of success despite a stellar outing in the ’14 World Cup. Like I said, he was merely a ‘temporary replacement’ but boy oh boy! The road to cementing his place between the sticks for (arguably) the best club in the world was nothing short of something phenomenal!

Navas finished his stint with Real Madrid with nine trophies in three years, winning the Club World Cup thrice, the Champions League, Super Cup twice and Supercopa de España, La Liga once. The Los Blancos have further been blessed with a quality keeper in Thibaut Courtois, with the Belgian’s heroics in goal leading the side on to a recent La Liga triumph.

De Gea on the other hand, never really managed to recover from the failed move to Madrid, with the keeper’s confidence in goal severely hampered. The long drawn out saga certainly seems to have ended very favourably for Real Madrid.

Written By: Colin Coelho

Image Credits: BBC


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