Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that the club are attempting to increase David De Gea’s weight by at least a stone, The
The 21 year old’s slender frame has been called into question and opposition sides have taken the tendency to target De Gea with physical tactics at set-pieces. Liverpool exploited his vulnerability in the FA Cup final at Anfield and he was also suspect for Blackburn’s winner at Old Trafford on New Year’s Eve. United have placed the £18.3m signing from Atletico Madrid on a strengthening programme devised by senior fitness coach Tony Strudwick. Ferguson believes that with the talent De Gea has, he could be a fantastic goalkeeper if the strength programme begins to pay dividends.
Ferguson said: ‘The boy has got talent. He’s lightning quick, but he has just found it difficult to adjust to some parts of the game here. It’s a matter of developing his frame and he’s doing a lot of work in the gym. If we can get maybe a stone on him without losing any of his flexibility or speed, it would be a great boost for him.’
Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has also defended De Gea and believes that he is a great goalkeeper, who has come through a turbulent time at Old Trafford. The former Denmark international is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in United history and had some positive words of advice for the young Spanish under 21 international.
Schmeichel said: ‘People want to have a dig at him (De Gea), but it speaks volumes for his character that he has come through with some cracking saves. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s a great keeper. I’m disappointed on behalf of De Gea, because I thought in this country, you give everybody a chance’.
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