Has De Gea played his last game for Manchester United?

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Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  By Javier Hernandez  |  Last updated 5/17/17

Sergio Romero put in another solid performance in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.  The big Argentine showed off his skill at saving penalties by denying Manolo Gabbiadini early in the game and earned a clean sheet.  All the chatter after the game though, was about the man who didn’t play.

In fact, David De Gea wasn’t even in the 18 man squad in Southampton with youngster Joel Pereira deputizing for Romero.  With manager Jose Mourinho talking up Pereira in recent weeks, it seems he may be set for his debut this weekend against Chrystal Palace.  Meaning that David De Gea may very well have played his last game for United if the rumors of his imminent departure to Real Madrid are true.

As the club’s player of the season winner for the past three years, De Gea is certainly a fan favorite.  He was one of the few shining lights in the team during the dark days post Sir Alex Ferguson.  For a while, it seemed like the only hope for a win was to steal a goal and “let Dave save the rest”.

There can often be animosity in situations such as this, with one big club “poaching” one of the best players off another big club.  There certainly isn’t the best history with Real Madrid after the protracted Ronaldo saga and De Gea’s failed transfer two season ago.  Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said about Madrid, “I wouldn’t sell that lot a virus”.

While there might have been considerable discontent among the fans had De Gea left a few years ago, there doesn’t seem to be much now.  Certainly none of the fans want to see him go, but it doesn’t seem than any of them will hold it against them either.  A surprising stance for English football fans who can be quite vengeful when they feel their team has been done wrong.

It could simply be a case of the fans having two years to come to terms with his departure.  It has seemed a foregone conclusion that the transfer would happen eventually with De Gea’s wife residing in his native Spain and Real Madrid competing for Champion’s League titles while Manchester United are scrapping just to get into the top four.

The more romantic view however is that the big Spaniard has won over the fans.  Had he left two years ago it would have seemed to be jumping ship just when the club needed him most.  He didn’t though, and when he didn’t get his move he didn’t pout either.  He signed a new deal, buckled down and did his absolute best to drag some uninspiring United teams to success.

Now that Mourinho has righted the ship somewhat, De Gea is a departing hero in the fans’ eyes.  He can finally pass on the player of the season award to someone else, and pass on the mantle of best player to Paul Pogba.  If he has played his final game in the red of Manchester United, he will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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