The Spaniard played brilliantly against Liverpool on Sunday…
Manchester United keeper David De Gea has been having a great season, and this has led to some very high praise from certain quarters.
His captain has declared him the best in the world, and he recently came top of a Sky Sports poll on who the was the best goalie around. However, he is not the best number one in the world, and here is why.
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In world football, there is at least one keeper who is definitely better than the 24-year-old, and that is Manuel Neuer. The Bayern Munich man has almost redefined what the player with the gloves is able to do. His sweeper-keeper role is something that hasn’t been seen for a very long time, and is what allows his side to be so high up the pitch to dominate opposing teams. They know they won’t get caught out because they have not only the best keeper in the world, but also one of the best defenders all rolled in to one.
These extra responsibilities that the German takes on with aplomb are not the only reason why he is better then De Gea. He is also simply better at saving the ball. The 28-year-old saves an unbelievable 91.3% of shots taken from within his own area, while his Spanish counterpart can only manage a relatively disappointing 71.7% as reported in the Guardian. Other stoppers who have better percentages than the Manchester United man include Diego Benaglio of Wolfsburg, Yann Sommer of Borussia Monchengladbach, and Mattia Perin of Genoa.
Now this statistic obviously doesn’t take in to account the difficulty of the saves, maybe in the Bundesliga they are just repeatedly hitting the ball straight at the German international? However, these stats are backed up by some real world facts. Neuer has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or, won the World Cup, and redefined the role of the last man in the last twelve months. Meanwhile De Gea has been part of a struggling Red Devils side, only just broken in to his national team, and is playing well but in a very traditional manner for a goalie.
He may not even be the best in the Premier League, with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois probably having something to say about that. The Belgian does not have the same amount of saves to make, but this if anything just tests other areas of his game such as his concentration. The 22-year-old also proved that he’s one of the best in the position in the world with his form at Atletico Madrid for the last two seasons. He has even managed to knock one of the other top stoppers in the world Petr Cech out of the side at his club.
So overall Man Utd’s keeper is not the best in the world, and he might not even be the best playing in England. Manuel Neuer and Thibaut Courtois have something to say about both of those claims respectively.