‘I trust in myself’: De Gea defends his role as Manchester United No 1

‘I trust in myself’: De Gea defends his role as Manchester United No 1

David de Gea trusts himself to continue as the Manchester United goalkeeper despite scrutiny of his dip in form.

De Gea, who has now been with United for nine seasons, committed a series of goal-costing errors towards the end of the season, a sequence that mirrored the close of the previous one. These included conceding a Stephen Bergwijn long shot that was hit directly at him in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham and Mason Mount’s similar attempt in the 3-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea.

The mistakes caused De Gea’s position to come under examination, although he was selected for the Sunday’s Europa League semi-final against Sevilla that ended in a 2-1 defeat.

After excelling for most of his time at Old Trafford, De Gea denied ever having any self-doubt. “I trust in myself,” the 29-year-old said. “I showed my qualities all the years, so I just keep available for the manager. I’m always ready to play and try to help the team as always, as I did always.”

De Gea was the goalkeeper in United’s last title-winning season, 2012-13, and was voted the United players’ player of the year for four consecutive seasons.

He is convinced Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team can improve next season, having qualified for the Champions League through their league finish. “I think we improved already this season,” he said. “We were 14 points behind third in the Premier League [in January] and we finished third at the end. We played very good in many games. [Against Sevilla] we deserve to be in the final. But maybe we need a bit more experience in the team.

“Let’s keep improving, let’s keep fighting for this club and let’s try to win trophies next season. We are going in the right direction. I think we are playing good, attacking football, which we are all enjoying.”

The season begins in around a month’s time and De Gea is unsure if he will return to Spain for a break owing to UK quarantine rules. “I don’t know,” he said. “There has been a lot of games, not a lot of rest, so we have like a couple of weeks to rest, properly rest, and then to start training again. The sport goes again and we have to be 100% focused and ready to play our best football.”