David de Gea celebrated his three-year anniversary at Manchester United on Sunday.
The Spanish goalkeeper joined theRed Devils on June 29, 2011 from Atletico Madrid for a reported £17.8 million after two impressive seasons at the Spanish club during which he won the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup..
At the time, Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Manchester outfit and signed the then 20-year-old as a replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar.
De Gea struggled in his debut season in the Premier League in 2011-12 and made some high-profile mistakes that led many to doubt whether he could be the ‘next great goalkeeper’ for United.
However, the 23-year-old proved his detractors wrong in United’s title-winning 2012-13 season and maintained that form in a disastrous 2013-14 campaign in which the three-time Champions League winners failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
De Gea was United’s best player last season and was duly rewarded by being named as the Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year and Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year.
The former Atletico star’s performance for United in 2013-14 and the long-term injury to Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes saw him earn a place in Spain’s 23-man squad for the ongoing 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
Ferguson retired from management duties at United last summer, but it was the 72-year-old’s faith in De Gea that allowed the Spaniard to flourish at Old Trafford.
And now, De Gea has publicly thanked the former Aberdeen boss and United for signing him three years ago.