Club legend David de Gea is leaving Manchester United after 12 seasons
While many fans will feel it is the right time, they can't help but be grateful for more than a decade of incredible service.
Manchester United legend and long-serving goalkeeper David de Gea has announced he is leaving the club after 12 long seasons.
De Gea, now 32, joined Man United when he was just 21 and has gone on to become one of the team’s most senior players, playing a total of 545 games and breaking the all-time club records for both goalkeeper appearances and clean sheets this past season.
The Spaniard has won Player of the Year four times during his tenure at Old Trafford, won the Premier League, Europa League, an FA Cup, two EFL Cups, three Community Shields and picked up two Premier League Golden Gloves, the most recent coming in the 2022/23 season.
Confirming the news in a post on social media, the long-serving number one said: “It’s been an unforgettable and successful period since I came here. I didn’t think from leaving Madrid as a young boy we would achieve what we did together.
The former Athletico Madrid keeper went on to say, “Now, it’s the right time to undertake a new challenge, to push myself again in new surroundings. Manchester will always be in my heart, Manchester has shaped me and will never leave me.
He also expressed his “unwavering gratitude and appreciation for the love from the last 12 years, adding, “We’ve achieved a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club. I took incredible pride every time I pulled on this shirt, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honour only bestows upon a few lucky footballers.”
It’s fair to say that while Manchester United may not have had the same level of success since Sir Alex left but there is no doubt that, for many of those years since, de Gea has been one of the best players and was once considered the best goalkeepers in the world — to some he still is.
He ended his farewell message with the familiar line from a famous United chant, signing of by simply saying, “We’ve seen it all.” The club posted his heartfelt tribute shortly after, thanking him for his 12 years of incredible service.
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With de Gea now confirmed to be leaving on a free following his contract expiring, it is almost certain that United will finalise a deal for their rumoured replacement, Andre Onana, with the keeper having played under Erik ten Hag at Ajax and linked with the club for months now.
In fact, some reports are suggesting that the deal has already been done and the Cameroonian international will sign “next week”, with the club obviously needing to select their new first-choice keeper before the start of the new season.
Alternatively, Dean Henderson has long been crying out for the no.1 shirt and despite being loaned out after growing frustrated with a lack of opportunities last year, he has now returned to Carrington for pre-season training.
Featured Image — David de Gea (via Instagram)