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Scout Report: David de Gea (Atletico Madrid)

The focus shifts from attacking midfielder Javier Pastore to one of the most hotly tipped young goalkeepers in the world, Atletico Madrid prodigy (and Football Manager starlet) David de Gea.


Full stretch: De Gea's physical attributes make him an imposing presence in goal

Position: Goalkeeper

Age: 18

Clubs: Atletico Madrid

Life is never boring at Atletico Madrid. As Sid Lowe will undoubtedly tell you, there is almost no end to the drama the club is involved in — and usually of its own making.

After the departure of former No. 1 Leo Franco in the summer, Atletico were keen to find a suitable replacement to shore up their defence. With youngster David de Gea considered a huge talent by his coaches, many thought the club would opt for a short-term solution between the sticks.

But after signing Valladolid’s impressive stopper Sergio Asenjo, who many in Spain see as the heir to Iker Casillas, the club now finds itself with two outstanding young keepers who are set to fight over the No. 1 jersey for years to come.

Asenjo cost the club €5 million in the summer, and so unsurprisingly the 20-year-old quickly grabbed the starting role under then-coach Abel Resino. He is likely to keep his place under new main man Quique Flores, but already in his germinating Vicente Calderon career has been challenged by his emerging understudy.

After all, the 19-year-old, nearly 6’3” De Gea has all the physical attributes required of a top goalkeeper. He showed his shot-stopping skills on his debut, where he saved a penalty (that, admittedly, he gave away) in his side’s 2-1 win over Real Zaragoza.

“I made my debut in the Vicente Calderon, and I stopped a penalty,” De Gea said.

“This is a dream for me. We must continue improving from here. This win will allow us to enjoy a peaceful week.”


Man in charge: Asenjo (l) in action against England U21s

After Asenjo spent time away with the Spanish U-20 World Cup squad , De Gea was able to make his case for the No. 1 job in the future with a string of impressive performances.

This was enabled after reserve keeper Roberto suffered an injury in his side’s clash with FC Porto, an unfortunate incident that enabled De Gea to gain some Champions League experience — and subsequently that famous debut against Zaragoza.

On his return, Asenjo acknowledged and embraced the challenge his even younger understudy is already posing him:

“A lot has happened since I left. Roberto got injured and David De Gea had to play, which he did extremely well and I’m glad for him,” the Spaniard said.

“From now on, I will have to work to earn my place.”

He certainly will. David has earned the nickname ‘Van de Gea’ around the club due to his perceived similarities with the Manchester United keeper, and it is even believed that Edwin van der Sar’s club employers are interested in the youngster as his long-term replacement.

For now, though, the Spanish U-19 international is focused on breaking through with the club he has been part of since the age of 13.

And with two of the world’s brightest young keepers on the books, perhaps this is one drama that can only have a happy ending for Los Colchoneros faithful.

October 28, 2009 - Posted by | Sport, Uncategorized, World Football | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Report: Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao) After Atletico goalkeeper David de Gea, we move across Spain to cast an eye (or even two) over the burgeoning buzz surrounding Athletic […]

    Pingback by Scout Report: Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao) « Catch Seventy7 | November 3, 2009 | Reply

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