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05th Dec 2017

Former Manchester United ‘keeper does not believe David De Gea is world’s best stopper

Tough crowd

Darragh Murphy

Nobody ever doubted David De Gea’s quality but, last weekend, it felt like he’d stepped up a level.

Having been in the discussion around the world’s greatest goalkeeper for years, De Gea turned a corner with his performance against Arsenal on Saturday evening as he saved 14 of the Gunners’ 15 shots on target to ensure Manchester United left the Emirates with all three points.

De Gea displayed almost unfathomable reflexes, matchless athleticism and typically dependable distribution to make a case for being the world’s greatest goalkeeper.

It can also be argued that not only is he the best man between the sticks but that De Gea is now better in his position than any other player is in theirs.

De Gea is doing more incredible things as the Red Devils’ last line of defence than Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar going forward.

But while most reckon that the Spaniard has finally eclipsed the likes of Manuel Neuer, Gianluigi Buffon and Thibaut Courtois, there is one dissenting voice who used to wear the gloves at Old Trafford.

Mark Bosnich, who was tasked with replacing the legendary Peter Schmeichel in 1999, didn’t enjoy the most fruitful second spell at United and left in 2001, after he made no appearances in the 2000/01 season.

Bosnich has had his say on De Gea this week and the Australian, who was referred to as a ‘terrible professional’ by Sir Alex Ferguson, reckons the Spain international is still behind Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon.

“I think De Gea would definitely be in the top-three,” Buffon said on Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“He was absolutely outstanding against Arsenal. Making 14 saves – it was a really great performance from David De Gea and you if you’re going to win a title you need a goalkeeper who is going to save 20 or 25 points a season. There is no team who has won a title without a great goalkeeper between the sticks.

“But, you’ve got to think of Gigi Buffon, regardless of his age. He came in fourth place for the Fifa Best Player awards this year and was awarded the Best Goalkeeper award.

“I know we don’t see him play as much as Premier League goalkeepers, but I’d still have Buffon ahead of De Gea as number one.”