David De Gea wishes to stay at Manchester United for the foreseeable future and dreams of breaking the club’s goalkeeping appearance record.
The Spanish stopper is approaching his first century for the Red Devils—having currently racked up 97 displays since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2011—and wishes to challenge the club’s most loyal servants at Old Trafford, as reported by David Anderson of the Mirror:
One hundred, eh? Wow!
I’ll be delighted to reach that figure. It makes me very happy and I want to make it to 200 and then 300 appearances. Please, let it continue!
United’s current appearance record for a goalkeeper is the 539 matches of Alex Stepney, according to Sky Sports.
The English goalkeeper took 12 years to reach such a total from 1966 to 1978, suggesting De Gea has some way to go before taking the plaudits.
Even so, the 23-year-old has more than enough time to achieve such a feat. He remains optimistic and understands the challenge of toppling such a high number, per Anderson’s report:
The record is a lot of games. You never know, though. At the moment, that figure seems very high, but I’ll try to do my best for the club and just take it one game at a time.
I hope to play as many games as I can for Manchester United and, who knows, maybe one day I will reach that number and go even higher.
De Gea initially suffered an extremely difficult start to life in England.
Originally struggling to deal with the physical side of the Premier League, the keeper says regular gym sessions and a change of diet has helped him "put on muscle and bulk up," as reported by Richard Tanner of the Express.
The Spanish Under-21 international is one of the most gifted shot-stoppers in the world and flaunts incredible reaction skills.
Will David De Gea break Alex Stepney's record of 539 goalkeeping appearances for Manchester United?
His improved performances have seen him flap less from crosses, command his area and palm United away from trouble with some match-changing saves, including his tremendous diving stop from Juan Mata’s free-kick during Manchester United’s 3-3 draw with Chelsea in Feb. 2012.
De Gea is a popular figure at Old Trafford and has the talent to become one of the club's all-time greats.
If he continues to work hard, focuses on his physique and strengthens his assertiveness, he is more than capable of breaking Stepney's 45-year record.