Throughout the course of the season, United had two goalkeepers who took charge of the goal. These two keepers were David de Gea and Sergio Romero.
David de Gea
It was business as usual when it comes to de Gea this season. Besides for a small error during the 1-1 draw at Stoke City, de Gea had a flawless campaign once again. His save from Phillipe Coutinho’s wonder hit earlier in the season during the 0-0 bore draw at Anfield.
The interest from Real Madrid for de Gea is not unfounded. It is the first season in the last four that de Gea was not voted as the United player of the season. It was the first time watching United, in the last four seasons, that I felt that for most of the games this season, de Gea did not carry United to most of the wins this season. He did, however, grant United a few extra points than should have been such as his save mentioned above.
Whenever the ball travelled towards de Gea’s goal this season, as with other seasons before, I was always confident that de Gea would perform a miracle and deny the opposition from scoring. Even when it seemed impossible for him to save it, I still believed that he was able to perform the miracle.
If de Gea was to leave by the end of the transfer window, which does not seem likely at the moment, it would been a tragic moment due to the influence and confidence he inspires into the team and fans will be lost. No matter who de Gea is replaced by, it would be difficult for that keeper to live up to de Gea’s high standards. However, when de Gea was signed a few seasons ago, there were also doubts that he would be able live up to Edwin van de Sar and Peter Schmeichel. Even with de Gea’s rough start, he came right in the end.
This season, Romero proved to be a worthy understudy for de Gea, stepping up to the big occasion when Mourinho required it of him. This happened on a number of occasions when Mourinho placed Romero as the Europa League goalkeeper.
Although during the games, he was not entirely troubled but he still was calm under pressure, rarely making any calamitous mistakes. Every time that Romero was on the team sheet, I was never worried that he was not playing but the fact that de Gea was not.
Watching Romero in the Europa League final made me feel calm. On every occasion that the camera panned onto his face, which was not often, he seemed focused and in the zone. This made me confident that he is ready for any challenge during the game and in the future if he stays for longer.