David de Gea does not want to be named Manchester United’s player of the year next season because it would entail another disappointing season.
When a goalie is chosen player of the year four times between 2014 and 2018, Jose Mourinho believes there is something fundamentally wrong with the team.
De Gea agreed with his former United manager and is hoping he does not win the Sir Matt Busby Trophy at the end of Erik ten Hag’s first season in command.
“Yeah, I totally agree,” said De Gea. “It’s good for me, of course, I love to win trophies, but I totally agree with what he said. It must be a striker, a midfielder. For sure, this season it’s going to be another player or striker.”
De Gea, 31, is United’s longest-serving player, having made 500 appearances for the club and is ready to begin his 12th season at Old Trafford.
If a faulty fax machine had not derailed his move to Real Madrid on deadline day in 2015, the Spaniard would have four Champions League championships and three La Liga titles to his name.
As it stands, his resume includes a single Premier League championship, one FA Cup, one League Cup, and the Europa League, a meagre haul for perhaps the world’s finest goalkeeper.
Despite this, De Gea believes he has no regrets about not joining Real Madrid and that his attachment to United is stronger, despite the club’s lack of success in recent years.
“Winning or not winning, just being in this club means more than winning trophies,” said De Gea, speaking at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Perth, during a break from United’s pre-season tour. “But, of course, we want to win, we always want to win, but representing this club is bigger than any trophy.
“Manchester is my home. It’s a privilege, an honour, to be here and it’s one of the best things in my life, to be a part of this club.”
De Gea did not hold back last season, branding United’s sixth-placed finish and lowest points total of the Premier League era as “embarrassing” and “a disgrace” as their campaign imploded. “I think many things had to change,” said De Gea.
Asked if it was his lowest point in 11 years at United, De Gea said: “Yeah, probably in the way we played and the way we conceded chances. But now we’re really improving with the new manager. He’s very intense, he brings new things, new thoughts, so we need to adapt to him.”