x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

David de Gea targets Champions League success with Man Utd

The club's new goalkeeper thinks the club should not be fazed by the prospect of trying to win the Champions League.

David de Gea is positive that his new club will be contenders to win the Champions League next season.
David de Gea is positive that his new club will be contenders to win the Champions League next season.

Manchester United's new goalkeeper David de Gea does not believe the Red Devils should be fazed by the prospect of trying to win the Champions League.

Such was the manner of United's Wembley defeat by Barcelona last month that most of the club's supporters were left wondering exactly when it was realistic for Sir Alex Ferguson's squad to conquer Europe once more.

The arrivals of De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones do not appear to be the answer on their own, even at a combined cost in excess of £50 million (Dh295m), mainly due to the retirements of Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes.

However, De Gea is convinced United should continue to aim high.

"Aiming to win the Champions League is realistic," De Gea told MUTV. "That is what we're going to do."

Before that, the 20-year-old accepts he is heading for a fairly steep learning curve.

Although he has been widely acclaimed as one of the most promising young keepers in Europe, De Gea has been a senior professional for only two seasons and has no experience of life in England, either from a professional or personal standpoint.

"There are differences between the two [leagues]. The Premier League is known to be a more physical style of play.

"There are a lot of high balls and a lot of play in the air but I hope to adapt fairly quickly and with my own style hope to contribute to it being an all-round success."

Considering who he has been bought to replace, he could be forgiven a few nerves, but after agreeing a five-year contract, De Gea spoke confidently about his hopes for the future.

"I am excited about getting started training and meeting my future teammates," he said. "Edwin has been the best goalkeeper in the world while here at United.

"I hope to emulate him and spend a great number of years here. Hopefully I will equal or even surpass the performance and contribution he made to the club.

The transfer seems certain to signal the departure of Tomasz Kuszczak but the search for further reinforcements will continue, with a move for Samir Nasri now anticipated as hopes to capture Wesley Sneijder, Luka Modric and Alexis Sanchez start to recede.