Name: David De Gea
Signed: June 2011 from Atletico Madrid (£17.8 million)
Then: Lindergaard’s lack of progression was such that Alex Ferguson felt the need for a new long-term number 1. In the months leading up to Edwin van der Sar’s retirement, talented Atletico Madrid keeper, David De Gea, had been making waves around Europe with his eye-catching shot-stopping ability. His potential was enough for United to part with close to £18 million in June 2011. Early on, De Gea struggled to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, finding the physicality of England’s top flight a particular challenge. After his first season with the club, many in the media pondered whether the Spaniard was cut out for the English game.
Now: Dea Gea is now regarded as one of the finest goalkeeping talents in the world. And, for the past couple of months or so, he has been subject to intense interest from Spanish giants, Real Madrid. His performances for United in the past year have seen him go from zero to hero. He has bulked up, grasped the language and become a domineering presence in the penalty area. Whether or not he will stay or not is, as of yet, unknown. However, if he does decide to stay, United risk losing De Gea, who is now Spain’s number 1 stopper, on a free transfer next summer.