David De Gea has spoken of the importance of Champions League qualification to Manchester United, telling an interview with FIFA’s official website that it is vital to Louis van Gaal’s side.
United are fourth in the league table with eight games to play, five points clear of fifth-place Liverpool having beaten the Reds in their last outing, two goals from Juan Mata giving United victory at Anfield, with Daniel Sturridge pulling a goal back for the home team.
Having finished seventh last season United have been out of European competition in the 2014-15 campaign, and De Gea, who signed for United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 as a replacement for the retiring Edwin van der Sar, has said United can’t afford to let another year go by without participating in the Champions League.
“We have to qualify for the Champions League no matter what,” De Gea said. “We already missed out last season, and a team like Manchester United cannot do that two years in a row.”
De Gea initially struggled to get to grips with the Premier League and was criticised for being unable to cope with the physical side of the game, but added that he feels he has improved in his time in England. “Truth be told, English football has changed me a great deal,” De Gea admitted.
“I’ve developed a lot physically, greatly improved my concentration and generally improved all aspects of my game,” he added. “I was very young when I came here, but four years on, things are very good overall. This league really suits me, as you learn a lot here.”
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