David de Gea is “an unbelievable goalkeeper”, according to Tomasz Kuszczak, who says the Manchester United number one was like “Spider-Man” in training at the start of his Premier League career.
De Gea completed a £19 million ($24m) move to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, succeeding Edwin van der Sar as United’s first choice keeper.
The Spaniard saw his performances called into question during an error-strewn debut season, but defied his critics to play a key role in the Red Devils 2012-13 title triumph, before stepping his game up to new levels in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
As United began to slip behind the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League, De Gea was forced to take centre-stage to limit the damage. The 29-year-old was named the club’s player of the year on multiple occasions and established himself as arguably the finest shot-stopper in European football.
De Gea’s standards began to slip towards the end of last season, however, with United losing valuable points as a result of his lapses in concentration between the sticks. The same issues have resurfaced regularly in 2019-20, but Kuszczak is adamant that a former team-mate remains among the masters of his craft.
The former United backup ‘keeper told MUTV: “I trained with him for nearly a year and I remember I used to watch someone hit a ball towards the top corner and from nowhere he would fly across and save it like Spider-Man! I was like ‘wow what a guy’. He’s powerful and quick, and a top guy. Obviously you’ll make mistakes, we all do, but he has proved himself for many years.
“His performances over the last eight or nine years have been unbelievable. To play for a team which is doing well and is on top is easy, but unfortunately, after Sir Alex left there were changes at the club, United struggled a little bit and David was put under massive pressure.
“I’m not surprised he picked up the best player award for four or five years in a row because he deserved it. He’s made so many key saves and in almost every game he has been under massive pressure.
“I played some games for United and I touched the ball three times maybe, I had nothing to do! I just passed the ball and we won 3-0, thank you very much!
“David hasn’t had that, in almost every game he’s played he’s made massive saves and for me he’s an unbelievable goalkeeper and one of the best, no doubt about it.”