David De Gea has legitimately staked a claim as being Manchester United’s greatest Premier League goalkeeper in his eight years at Old Trafford.
Gone are the questions over the £18.9million fee it cost to purchase the Spaniard from Atletico Madrid in 2011, to take over from the inimitable Edwin van der Sar. A record number of Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards plus a Golden Glove award to boot have surely to put an end to any debate he was worth the fee.
When he eventually leaves, the Red Devils will want to avoid the rigmarole they endured between the tenure of the two shot-stoppers De Gea regularly vies for the club’s accolade of best ever, Peter Schmeichel and van der Sar. Ten faces - across the reliability spectrum - appeared between the sticks for United between Schmeichel’s retirement in 1999 and van der Sar’s arrival from Fulham in 2005.
Man Utd and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wary not to make the same mistakes again. De Gea is entering the last 12 months of his contract with Manchester United. Though The Telegraph reports that the 13-time Premier League champions are primed to offer him a new deal this summer, there are names to consider should De Gea depart with his reputation as arguably the world’s best.
Perhaps the only name that would appease disgruntled Man Utd fans who would be ultimately distraught with De Gea’s departure. There must be something in the water in the Spanish capital, with Atletico finding Slovenian international Oblak in 2014, and moulding him into a twice Ballon d’Or nominated goalkeeper.
To bring him to the Spanish capital, it initially cost a record fee that at the time made him the most expensive La Liga shot-stopper of all time. At 26-years-old, reports indicate the Oblak is ready to leave Los Rojiblancos after five years, his tenure yielding a single Europa League title in 2018.
Jan Oblak is the definition of cool.
Trapp has had an excellent season on loan from Paris Saint-Germain at Europa League semi-finalists Eintracht Frankfurt, re-asserting why he had been favoured in French capital in 2015 upon his move from Kaiserslautern.
Trapp was humble with the arrival and succession of Gianluigi Buffon in 2018 and promptly went back to the Bundesliga for the season. With Les Parisiens releasing Buffon after a single campaign, it’s likely that Trapp features somewhere in manager Thomas Tuchel’s plans, though this centres on the question of displacing first-choice goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
Quick reactions are his forte, his anticipation extremely impressive, and the German is also prone to the odd slice of crowd-pleasing acrobatics, Trapp started every Bundesliga game in the 2018/19 season and kept clean sheets in eight league games. Furthermore, in a statistic that puts De Gea to shame, Trapp has now the sixth best goalkeeper in Bundesliga history for saving penalties, having stopped six of the 15 he’s faced, a 40% success rate.
The understudy to Marc-André ter Stegen at Barcelona’s currently has two years to run on his club contract.
The Netherlands Number 1 has however experienced a tumultuous few months, being between the sticks ahead of ter Stegen for the Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia, and his country’s UEFA Nations League final loss to Croatia.
At 30-years-old this wouldn’t necessarily be a long-term option for Man Utd, but the Dutchman would bring a wealth of experience - once considered to best goalkeeper in the Eredivisie with Ajax - and lest we forget van der Sar was 34 years old when he finally arrived at Old Trafford to go on and provide six years of service.