David de Gea joins Manchester United’s exclusive 500 club today with the ambition to become one of their longest-serving players.
Goalkeeper De Gea, who has played at Old Trafford since 2011, becomes only the eleventh player in the club’s history and the first from outside the British Isles to make 500 appearances against Newcastle.
The 31-year-old Spaniard is in the final year of his contract, although United have an option for a further 12 months. But with the club rebuilding under manager Erik ten Hag, he has revealed he would like to stay much longer.
David de Gea plays his 500th Man United appearance against Newcastle on Sunday
The 31-year-old is the club’s current longest-serving star after taking office under Sir Alex Ferguson
“This is my club and where I feel good,” he said. “I’m playing well and feeling really good. I still have many years to play. Yeah, I’d like to stay here for years and make records for competitions and stuff.
‘With my experience I want to try to help the young people here and win prizes. I feel very confident.’
De Gea is the only member of United’s Premier League squad to play under Sir Alex Ferguson in the club’s final title season in 2013.
After a rocky start to his career in England following a £18 million move from Atletico Madrid, he was recognized as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.
De Gea retains his position as United’s number one under new manager Erik ten Hag
The Spaniard has had a solid start to the season and United climbed to fifth in the league
Man United goalkeeper wants to help young players from the selection to win silverware at the club
He was named the club’s Player of the Year four times and after a move to Real Madrid fell through, he is now within reach of Alex Stepney’s club record of 539 goalkeeper appearances.
“It’s crazy,” said De Gea. “Five hundred games is never easy at a big club like Manchester United.
The shot-stopper helped United win their last piece of silverware, the Europa League in 2017
“I’m really proud and can’t wait to play against Newcastle and try to win. Nobody expects to play so many years and so many games. It’s unbelievable and I consider it a privilege.’
De Gea considers winning the title his best moment at United, but that was ten years ago. He is now in the position of being one of the senior stars trying to build a new group under Ten Hag that can challenge again.
Although United started the season poorly, they are currently in the top six after last Sunday’s win over Everton and have virtually qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League.
“It goes step by step in every training and every game. You can’t expect major changes in a few months’, says De Gea.
De Gea is the only member of United’s 2013 Premier League title-winning squad still at the club
De Gea also won the FA Cup for United while playing under Louis Van Gaal in 2016
“We need time to get better, but the feeling is good. It’s huge to have experienced players on the team who know how to handle the pressure. That is super important at a club like United.’
If De Gea makes 50 appearances for United over the next five seasons, his 750 total would put him in third place on the all-time list, behind Ryan Giggs (963) and Sir Bobby Charlton (758).
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