Sir Alex Ferguson Went To Great Lengths To Sign David De Gea

David De Gea's rise from skinny teen to the best goalkeeper in world football will go down in Manchester United history.

From day one many at Old Trafford had faith in his ability, despite a rocky start to life in the Premier League.

The fact that Sir Alex Ferguson went to great lengths to sign the Spanish goalkeeper says it all.

In a column for The Daily Mail, former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele has revealed that Sir Alex only missed two games during his 26 year reign at Old Trafford.


And one of those was to see De Gea in the flesh:

"I can only remember Sir Alex Ferguson missing two United matches. He missed a Manchester derby in 2000 for his son's wedding. The other time? To scout the brilliant David de Gea," Steele said.

"I was convinced that a 19-year-old De Gea was the right man to replace him.

"I showed a three-minute DVD compilation to Sir Alex and then we went to watch him play for Atletico Madrid at Valencia on the night United played Scunthorpe in the League Cup."

So Sir Alex went to great lengths to sign De Gea back when he played for Atletico, and Steele has revealed the traits both he and Ferguson were impressed with on that day in Valencia:

"Sir Alex knew he was the right signing inside 65 minutes. David showed composure, concentration and reflexes. He made one terrific save that went through a load of bodies." he said.

"People targeted David physically but we never changed our programme to improve him. We knew the strength and power would come.

"Sir Alex and I encouraged him the whole time. Sir Alex did not criticise him. Not once. He left him out at some stages and put him back in but he never shouted at him or put him down.

"And just look at David now. His outstanding quality has always been his calmness and on Saturday night, amid all the penalty-box mayhem, he was a beacon of tranquility.

"He is the calmest man on the field."

This is just another reason why Sir Alex Ferguson was one of the greatest of all time. His attention to detail was incredible.

It just shows how important De Gea's potential was to Fergie and Steele, and now he is one of the best in world football.

They knew all along.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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