De Gea hits back at doubters
Manchester United's David de Gea has hit out at his critics, claiming he is a 'much better player' than when he first arrived in England.
De Gea has struggled to fully convince as Manchester United's goalkeeper since arriving from Atletico Madrid in a record-breaking 18 million pound in 2011.
But the 22-year-old Spaniard believes there was always going to be a tough transition period and he is convinced he has improved and is ready for a long career as Manchester United's number one.
"When you move to a new club, new country and a different league you are going to have some hard times and moments when you are not at your best," De Gea said on Wednesday.
"I think it is important to go through that to improve and make yourself stronger during hard times.
"I think I am a much better player now compared to when I first came to Manchester United."
While there are rumours United manager Alex Ferguson is interested in bringing in Asmir Begovic from Stoke City, the Manchester United manager backed De Gea ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Ferguson argued his young Spanish gloveman has done well to deal with the criticism thrown his way since he arrived in England.
"David has shown his character because he has taken a lot of criticism, sometimes unfairly," Ferguson said.
"What we are good at is developing people. He came to us as a very young man, not used to the English game and unable to speak the language.
"Also he was still to mature physically but it's like a young kid taking his first steps forward, he wobbles, then gets up, wobbles, then gets up again and eventually he walks.
"The boy is walking now."