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12-21-2012, 12:47 PM #1
[Football] Van der Sar backs De Gea
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar says he feels confident with David de Gea as the club's number one shot-stopper.
In a six-year career at Old Trafford, van der Sar won four English Premier League titles, three League Cups and one UEFA Champions League medal.
And the Dutch 'keeper – who is now retired and 42 years old – thinks de Gea can follow in his footsteps and cement himself as Sir Alex Ferguson's first choice.
"I think it's tight at the moment (between David de Gea and number two Anders Lindegaard)," van der Sar said.
"In their first year (in 2011/12) and even in the first half of this year also, (Alex) Ferguson has changed his goalkeepers. Sometimes de Gea plays up to five or six games then Anders has a chance.
"I don't think he (Ferguson) was really ready to name his number one but I think they're both doing a great job. I saw David play against (Manchester) City, he was very convincing coming in for crosses and he was important in that game so hopefully they can build on that."
Van der Sar – who is now the director of sport at Ajax Amsterdam – says it is tough to compare himself and de Gea because they both have different skills.
"It's difficult (to compare) because we are both tall and may be a bit skinny but I came at a much later stage (to Manchester United)," he said.
"I was 34 when I came to (Manchester) United and I played for six years until I was 40 so it's a completely different comparison.
"He has different techniques and attributes to bring to the game than I had. It's the same when you have a right winger like (Cristiano) Ronaldo leaving then bringing in someone else in like Antonio Valencia.
"You have to get used to someone else playing a certain position and I'm sure he (David de Gea) is going to do a great job for United."