The best 'keeper in the Premier League along with Thibaut Courtois, and the best 'keeper in the world along with Courtois and Manuel Neuer. The hints from the press is that De Gea will return to Manchester United determined to win his place back at the club.
That makes sense. We know that De Gea likes Manchester United and that he likes the city. He is a popular player in the dressing room, and in tern he likes his colleagues. Were it not for his girlfriend and in turn Real Madrid's interest, he would probably not have been anywhere as keen to leave - he was happy to stay for at least another year in any case. He also has a spot in the Spanish team to aim for ahead of the 2016 European Championships.
The only question is whether the strained relationship with Louis van Gaal - strained by the suspect declaration from Van Gaal that De Gea refused to play - can be mended, but neither United nor De Gea sources hint that this will be a major problem. He is far better than any of the alternatives, and keeping hold of him for the next season is, in the end, a huge bonus for United.
Valdes fell out with Van Gaal, again Van Gaal made a not necessarily true claim about Valdes's professionalism. That he was linked with moves to Besiktas and Watford in the last week of the transfer window suggests that his stock has fallen, perhaps because of the knee injury he suffered while at Barcelona. Certainly, you'd imagine that if he was good enough, he'd have started more than once for United last season.
Apparently he has a history of rows with Van Gaal, so do not be surprised to see him reintegrated into the squad over the next few months. United will need him at some point, perhaps, and he is the best reserve 'keeper at the club.
Romero is why United need Valdes. Though he's pulled off a few impressive stops in his first few games, he's also made it clear he cannot be trusted over the course of a season. His kicking is appalling, perhaps the worst from a 'keeper since Mark Bosnich. His error against Swansea cost United a point, and he has a few clangers in his history already. A reasonable third choice 'keeper, it seems, but no more. De Gea's return can't come soon enough, on the evidence Romero has provided so far.
A young player, who considered moving on this summer until it looked like De Gea would be leaving for Real Madrid. The loan market for the Championship will soon be open, and we may see him depart to gain more experience elsewhere. That does perhaps depend on Valdes and Van Gaal getting over their spat, though.