David de Gea considered leaving Manchester United

David de Gea considered leaving Manchester United during his difficult early days at the club but now believes he is in the finest ever form, with Sunday’s display in the 2-1 win over Everton a high point.

The Spaniard joined United as a 20-year-old in the summer of 2011 for £18.9m, a British record fee for a goalkeeper. Yet De Gea struggled for consistency and his physique was questioned before he became a pivotal member of the 2012-13 title winning side and was voted into the campaign’s Premier League XI.

The early struggles, though, did make the signing from Atl├ętico Madrid consider his future at United. “Sometimes it was difficult when you get a lot of criticism like I did,” he admitted. “But I kept strong and I always tried to remain positive. I loved training. It was a great pleasure, so I just did my work and worked through it.

“Those early days were difficult for me and my family. But when you play for a big club like Manchester United it is normal when you don’t play well. Yes I am glad it happened in some ways because the criticism makes you stronger. A goalkeeper is a difficult position and you make mistakes. It is normal. But you have to be strong in your mind to get through it all and get better.”
United secured successive league wins under Louis van Gaal for the first time, with De Gea becoming the first man to deny Leighton Baines from the penalty spot in the Premier League and making three fine second-half saves,. While the 23-year-old believes he is in the finest form of his career, De Gea played down his part in a victory that lifted the club to fourth place for the first time since August last year.
“All the players played really well,” he said. “The last 10 minutes we had a lot of pressure but we kept calm and played really well. It was probably one of my best performances for Manchester United. I was really happy about that.

“I think I am playing the best football of my career. I have been here for three years and in the beginning it was difficult. Now I am ready for everything. Games like this help your confidence grow. I didn’t win the match. It was the team who won the match. We scored and defended well. It was about the team and not just me. I had watched Everton penalties before the game and I decided to go to my right and I got lucky. I heard it was the first one he has missed. So I am happy about that.”

Credit: Jamie Jackson/TheGuardian