If you’ve been paying any attention to the Summer transfer buzz, you’ll know that David De Gea has apparently been on the brink of a blockbuster move to Real Madrid for weeks. If the Spanish keeper does leave Manchester United, the Red Devils will lose their two-time player of the season, and many fans are worried that Ed Woodward and Louis Van Gaal won’t be able to find an able replacement for the 24-year-old. As much as I would hate to see De Gea leave Old Trafford, I do believe that there are goalies on the market that may be able to partially fill the void left between the pipes, and here they are.
For some, Lloris is the ideal replacement for De Gea. He is a proven Premier League winner with Tottenham. There would be no learning curve to the English game because he’s been in the thick of it for the past three seasons, and he has star power. The French international has played in World Cup and European Championships so he is no stranger to the big stage and high expectations. However, with all of these positive attribute comes a very high price. Some papers have reported that it would take as much as £25 million to even tempt Tottenham into letting their star keeper leave White Hart Lane. Depending on how much United get from their expected sale of De Gea, this price could be very affordable, but having already spent a big chunk of change to bring in Memphis Depay this window, I’m hesitant to believe United will spend so much two summers in a row.
Having played under Van Gaal already for the Dutch national team, Cillessen seems like a logical signing for the Red Devils. The 26-year-old already knows how the United manager operates and has shown that he can thrive under Van Gaal’s system. There are a couple big problems though, the Ajax keeper just recently signed a contract extension that keeps him at the club until 2018 and it doesn’t look like manager Frank De Boer has any interest in letting his goalie leave. Even if Cillessen did move to Old Trafford, he would have to quickly adapt to the highly physical nature of the Premier League, and David De Gea showed just how tough a transition that can be on a keeper. While Cillessen may come at a somewhat cheaper price than Lloris, I think that if United are going to spend big on a goalie they should spend the money on one that already knows the English game.
It seems like a lot of United fans have forgotten that we have two Spanish international goalies on the squad right now. Sitting behind De Gea is former Barcelona shot stopper Víctor Valdés and that’s a pretty impressive name to have as your backup. Valdés helped his former employers to six La Liga titles, two Copa Del Ray championships, and three, yes three, Champions League titles. There are no other goalies on the market that can post that type of résumé. Best of all, he’s already on the team so it’s not going to take some astronomical fee to sign him. The Spanish keeper played just one full game for United last season against Hull City, but during that match he showed fans that he still has some gas left in the tank. While he may not be able to replicate the miraculous saves De Gea made last season, I don’t know any other keeper in the world can, and Valdés provides priceless experience to a squad looking to regain their winning ways.
In conclusion, yes I will be a very sad man if David De Gea decides to follow the route of Cristiano Ronaldo and leave for Madrid, but I also believe that there are several viable options to replace him, and one of those is already on the squad.
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