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De Gea "thought about leaving" after early criticism

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But he didn't, which is good.

Michael Regan

They'll tell you otherwise now, of course, but there was a time when plenty of folks weren't entirely convinced that David de Gea had what it takes to be Manchester United's goalkeeper. Indeed, so virulent was some of the criticism that De Gea even thought about abandoning his attempts to make it at United. Asked by the BBC whether he thought about leaving, he replied:

Sometimes. It's difficult when you get a lot of criticism. But I kept strong.

More than that, he believes that his tricky introduction to English football has helped him improve his game.

What happened at the start helped me be the player and man I am now. When you have bad moments you have to improve. You have to become stronger to deal with it and I believe I have become stronger. I am much better now.

Indeed, it shouldn't be too long before he supplants Iker Casillas as Spanish No.1. Not bad for a keeper who was mocked after two games as "Heurelho Gomes without the shot-stopping".