David De Gea and the other best Man United goalkeepers of all time

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David De Gea has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester United which will keep him at the club until 2023.

The Spaniard moved to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011, meaning this new deal will see the goalkeeper bring up a decade at United.

To mark this, PA has taken a look at the five best shot-stoppers to ever don the gloves for the Old Trafford club.

HARRY GREGG

Often referred to as the ‘Hero of Munich’ for his role in rescuing survivors of the air disaster, Gregg was also a phenomenal goalkeeper for United and Northern Ireland.

Gregg helped pull survivors from the wreckage of the crash at Munich Airport in 1958 which killed 23 people including eight United players.

He pulled Sir Bobby Charlton out alive and the two of them are the last remaining players from that ‘Busby Babes’ squad.

Remarkably, Gregg returned to action within two weeks of the crash and just four months later he was voted best goalkeeper in the world for his performances during the World Cup in Sweden.

Harry Gregg (r) pulled Sir Bobby Charlton out of the Munich air wreckage in 1958.

Harry Gregg (r) pulled Sir Bobby Charlton out of the Munich air wreckage in 1958.

ALEX STEPNEY

Stepney arrived at Old Trafford in 1966 from Chelsea when Sir Matt Busby paid a then world-record fee for a goalkeeper of £55,000.

He went on to make 539 appearances, which is a record for a keeper at United. But the most famous of those games and the one which cemented Stepney’s place as a Red Devils icon was the European Cup final in 1968.

United beat Benfica that night at Wembley and they had Stepney to thank for sending the game to extra time as he produced a remarkable save to deny Eusebio with the game level at 1-1.

It was a save so good that Eusebio stood and applauded the man who had just denied him the winner. Stepney spent 12 years at Old Trafford, but that was the moment that defined his career.

PETER SCHMEICHEL

peter-schmeichel

The ‘Great Dane’ arrived at United in 1991 from Brondby and across the next eight years he cemented his place as arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history.

Schmeichel won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup and the Champions League during his time at United and was a crucial figure in their dominance during the 90s.

He played his last game for United in that 1999 Champions League final victory, ending on the highest note as the club clinched an unprecedented treble by beating Bayern Munich in Barcelona – a game in which he was captain in the absence of Roy Keane.

EDWIN VAN DER SAR

Van der Sar Terry

It says a lot about the greatness of Schmeichel that, for six years, United failed to replace him.

Despite a host of big-name keepers at Old Trafford, including Mark Bosnich and World Cup winner Fabien Barthez, the Dane left a hole Sir Alex Ferguson struggled to fill.

That changed in 2005 when Van Der Sar became the first signing of the Malcolm Glazer era at Old Trafford. Having established himself as one of the world’s best keepers at Ajax, Ferguson missed out on Van Der Sar in 1999 as the Dutchman chose Juventus.

But, having spent four seasons at Fulham, United finally got their man at the age of 34. He stayed at United for six hugely successful years which included four Premier League titles and the Champions League.

Van Der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s penalty in the shootout against Chelsea in the Champions League win in Moscow.

DAVID DE GEA

0313 David de Gea

After Van der Sar’s departure in 2011, the pressure was on Ferguson not to repeat the troubles they had replacing Schmeichel.

He took a gamble on a raw talent from Atletico Madrid. It initially looked a mistake, as De Gea made a number of high-profile errors which drew criticism from the likes of former United defender Gary Neville and resulted in him being dropped in favour of Anders Lindegaard.

But De Gea blossomed into one of United’s finest keepers. The Spaniard has now made over 360 appearances during his seven years at Old Trafford and has been the club’s most important player – particularly since Ferguson’s retirement.

He became the first keeper to win the Sir Matt Busby award for the club’s Player of the Year in 2013/14 and the first player to win it three years in a row for the next three seasons.

De Gea won it again for a fourth time in May 2018 and his new deal, after years of speculation linking him to Real Madrid, is fantastic news for United.

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David De Gea officially signs new long-term contract with Manchester United

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David De Gea has signed a new long-term contract with Manchester United.

De Gea, 28, who was out of contract at the end of the season, had been linked with a return to Spain with Real Madrid for several years but has put pen to paper on a new four-year deal.

The deal keeps the Spain international at the club until at least June 2023, with an option to extend for a further year.

De Gea joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has made 367 appearances for the club.

De Gea said: “It has been a privilege to spend eight years at this great club and the opportunity to continue my career at Manchester United is a genuine honour.

“Since I arrived here, I could never have imagined I would play over 350 games for this club. Now my future is fixed, all I want is to help this team achieve what I believe we can and win trophies again, together.”

De Gea has won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League since arriving at Old Trafford.

The Spain international added: “I still feel that I have so much more to achieve at the club and I truly believe that Manchester United can build on the club’s tradition of success and reward our fans for their support.

“I am committed to continue repaying the fans for all of the care that they’ve shown me during the good times and the bad.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he rated De Gea as the world’s best goalkeeper.

Solskjaer said: “I am delighted that David has committed his long-term future to the club. Over recent years, David has proved himself to be the best in the world and a vital part of our plans as we look to take Manchester United back to where it belongs.

“David is a fantastic person and his outstanding quality provides the perfect base to our defence.

“Over his time here, David has really understood the values of playing for Manchester United and now represents everything you want in a goalkeeper.

“As a player he is still hugely determined and hungry to achieve more. We all look forward to working together to meet those ambitions over the coming years.”

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Nemanja Matic excited to see young talents take the pitch at Manchester United

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Nemanja Matic is excited to see young talent getting a chance at Manchester United – but the midfielder hopes there is also room for experience as he looks for more game time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men ended a three-match winless run by overcoming previously unbeaten Leicester at Old Trafford, where Marcus Rashford’s early spot-kick was the difference in a 1-0 triumph.

The match-winning forward was joined by fellow 21-year-olds Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the line-up on Saturday, when Andreas Pereira, 23, and Scott McTominay, 22, also started.

Tahith Chong, just 19, came off the bench for a United side which has an accent on youth under Solskjaer – something Matic, one of the few older heads, likes to see.

“I don’t believe in age – good players or bad players,” the midfielder, one of three starters in their 30s, said.

“It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 35, so I think who played today deserved to play.

“The most important thing was the team took three points and what we did today is great, and I am happy for the young players.

“They get the opportunity to play. It’s not always normal in big clubs that you get that opportunity so young and Manchester United is giving opportunity to the guys who grew up here in the academy and that’s good.

“They have to use that because in big clubs they don’t give always opportunities to the young guys because of the pressure, the results. Everyone wants to win.

“They buy ready players to win so it’s good for them.

“I think in this season the people from the club they can see who is ready to play already in a high level.

“It doesn’t matter if they are 18 or 25 or 35, we can see if they are ready or not and then for the future to decide what to do.

“As I said, I am happy for them. I like to see young players on the pitch and hopefully they can bring us some fresh energy for the rest of the season.”

Energy and options will be needed as United juggle domestic and European exertions.

The Red Devils kick off their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday, when Matic will be hoping to make his second start of the season.

The 31-year-old came in for the injured Paul Pogba against Leicester and was subject of speculation over his future in the summer.

“Of course (it has been frustrating),” Matic said. “I want to play, I always give my best for the team.

“The coach is the man who picks the team and when you are on the bench you are not happy, but I am trying to convince him to change his mind and pick me to play.

“The season is long. Today as you saw I played, and we won the game.

“I am happy so we will see in the future what the coach will decide.

“I am ready. In the last 10 years I have played in a high level and every game I try to do my best to help the team because I think I am a team player and I can help a lot I think.”

Put to Matic that he does not seem the kind of person to knock on a manager’s door, he said: “No, I never did that.

“I show my quality on the pitch, in training sessions and in games. This is not my way to fight for the place.”

Copy provided by Press Association Sport

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