• Premier League

De Gea is the best in the world, says Rooney

Richard Jolly | ESPN FC
December 15, 2014
Van Gaal refuses to discuss De Gea future

Wayne Rooney thinks David de Gea's superb form this season means he is now the world's best goalkeeper.

De Gea made a string of superb saves in Manchester United's 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday to follow other outstanding performances against Everton, Arsenal and Stoke.

Rooney said: "In my eyes, he is the best keeper in the world. The performances he has shown for us have been fantastic.

"He is not as tall as some other goalkeepers but his spring and reach is really long. Sometimes in training you hit a shot and turn away thinking it has gone in and he just manages to get there. I am delighted for him."

De Gea joined United as a 20-year-old in 2011, replacing the 40-year-old Edwin van der Sar, but was dropped during a difficult first 18 months at Old Trafford.

However, he went on to win United's Player of the Year award last season, and Rooney added: "To play in goal at Manchester United at 20 is difficult, especially trying to replace Edwin van der Sar, who was a fantastic keeper.

"We knew it might take time with David and it did. The first six months, [and] probably [the first] year, it was hard but he worked hard on his game and it shows.

"Edwin van der Sar had his best years of his career when he was with us in his late 30s so David has got a great future ahead of him. If he keeps working hard the way he is then he will have many, many years at the top.

"He has shown great form and some of his saves are incredible. I hope he does win some of the top personal awards but he has had a really good season."

Besides Van der Sar, Rooney has also played with Joe Hart for England and said: "They are three different keepers. They are all fantastic. The way we [United] play, Edwin and David try to play the ball out, whereas Joe is different. But Joe has been great for Manchester City and that's great for England."

He added: "David is important for us and we are delighted to have him."

United have had a series of central-defensive injuries this season and Rooney believes that has made De Gea's task harder.

He said: "Of course keepers want a settled defence in front of you, but you have to deal with it. We have had a lot of injuries and you have to deal with it and David has coped with it really well.

"What he has gained is that he is more vocal now. When he came his English wasn't great and it was difficult for him to pass messages on. Now he shouts more."

This article originally appeared on ESPN FC

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close