David De Gea is popular talking point this week following his sensational performance in Manchester United’s win over Tottenham on Sunday.
De Gea proved to be unstoppable at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, helping his team to their sixth straight win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Spanish international kept the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli all at bay and it’s ensured the return of the conversation of whether he is indeed the best goalkeeper in the world.
But is he? Is De Gea the world’s best goalkeeper? Or are there others out there still outperforming the Manchester United star?
Just how good is David De Gea?
There’s just no doubting how good David De Gea is. One of the talking points from United’s win on Sunday, was just how poor Tottenham were in front of goal, hammering several shots straight at De Gea.
However, it’s not quite as simple as that. You’ve got to take into account positioning, why De Gea is in position to make those saves.
How he gets his feet out to block shots where other keepers may fail to do so. Yes, on Sunday there were a couple of saves for the cameras, but it was simply a sensational performance from De Gea, who played a monumental part in claiming a vital three points for Manchester United. Good keepers win you points, and there’s no doubt that De Gea is a very good goalkeeper.
He’s made the third-most saves in the Premier League this season with 80, and no other keeper from clubs in the top six is even in the top half of that list.
That says a lot about United’s defence, but it also tells you a lot about just how much De Gea is bailing out the players in front of him.
YouTube highlights aren’t always a great representation of a footballer’s ability, but if you want to know just how good a keeper David De Gea is, search his name and try to explain some of the saves he’s made in his career so far.
The ‘other’ best keepers in the world
David De Gea is not alone in being a superstar goalkeeper.
One of his main rivals for being the best keeper in the world is Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who was voted as the goalkeeper for UEFA’s Team of the Year.
The German is another incredible goalkeeper who has been grabbing the headlines for some time. He’s performed at an extremely high level and unlike De Gea, he’s been winning, lifting the La Liga trophy with Barcelona last season.
You’ve also got Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid, who kept more clean sheets than both of those keepers this season.
In October, a stat emerged that Oblak had kept more clean sheets than he had conceded goals since the 2014/15 season. That’s mind-boggling.
Is De Gea the best in the world?
This is always going to come down to opinion, but the answer is no. The fact is that there is a world beyond the Premier League, there are better players out there, players you don’t get to see every week, unless you endeavour to do so.
De Gea is a fantastic goalkeeper, undoubtedly, he’s one of the best in the world. He has demonstrated that time and again, but he’s been far from perfect.
Ask a supporter of the Spanish national team and you’ll get a different perspective to the one provided by Manchester United and some general Premier League fans.
There was a point in the World Cup where he was the only goalkeeper of 33 to fail to make a single save, and he was heavily criticised by Spanish media throughout the competition.
It’s easy to judge a player after a great performance, but De Gea came into this season following a disastrous World Cup, and that has to come under consideration.
His performances in the Premier League have also been matched by the likes of Oblak and Ter Stegen in La Liga.
And it’s the former who probably edges the race as the moment. The German has been sensational over the last year and unlike De Gea and Oblak, he’s also won silverware, lifting the league title at Camp Nou.
De Gea will need to put these sorts of performances is for club and country on a regular basis, and he’ll also need to start winning if he wants to edge Ter Stegen to the title of being the best goalkeeper in world football.