I nearly quit Manchester United, hints De Gea

The goalkeeper struggled with form during his first season at Old Trafford, losing his place in the starting line-up for a period, but feels the criticism has helped his career

David de Gea has hinted that he considering quitting Manchester United after a “difficult” first season.

De Gea was scrutinised during his debut season, having arrived from Atletico Madrid as a £17.8 million replacement for Edwin van der Sar in 2011, and eventually lost his place in the starting line-up.

The goalkeeper, who was named United’s Player of the Year last term and produced a man-of-the-match display during the 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday, was asked if he had thought about a move away from Old Trafford in the harder moments: “Sometimes it was difficult when you get a lot of criticism like I did,” he replied. “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.

“I am glad it happened in some ways because the criticism makes you stronger. A goalkeeper is a difficult position and you make mistakes. But you have to be strong in your mind to get through it all and get better.”

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