Dimitar Berbatov has announced his retirement from football, saying: "I played the way I wanna play, and I scored the goals I wanted to score!"

The 38-year-old former Manchester United, Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen striker played his last game for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League in February 2018.

He announced his retirement on the ninth anniversary of his hat-trick for Manchester United in a memorable 3-2 win over rivals Liverpool.

After starting his career at CSKA Sofia, Bulgarian Berbatov made a name for himself in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen and then enjoyed success in the Premier League with Spurs.

United paid £28million to take him to Old Trafford in August 2008 and he won two Premier League titles with the club, before going on to play for Fulham, Monaco, PAOK and Kerala.

In a post on his Instagram account, Berbatov said: "My last game was more than one year ago, so I think it's the right time now to stop and it's long overdue!

"Although when I think about it, it's never The End, because I will stay in the game in one way or another, the time has come to say that after almost 20 years playing football I am stopping with my professional ACTIVE football career!

"I will miss it! I will f***ing miss it! Everything! The games, trainings, the goals, preparations, the pressure, my teammates…the roar of the fans when I scored another banger.

"I was blessed and work hard to have the opportunity to play with one of the best ever and against some of the best ever! And coming from small country this makes it even more special for me!"

Berbatov reflected on the ups and downs of a career that included three Champions League final defeats – one with Leverkusen and two with United.

His most prolific spell came in Germany, where he netted 91 goals in 202 matches for Leverkusen, but he won his only league titles at United, along with the League Cup, the Community Shield and the FIFA Club World Cup.

He also netted 48 goals in 78 appearances for Bulgaria to become the country's all-time leading scorer before retiring from international football in 2012.

"I had my highs and of course some lows in my career, won my fair share of trophies, scored some goals along the way as well!" said Berbatov.

"I played the way I wanna play, and I scored the goals I wanted to score!

"Thank you to all the people who helped me develop, and became the player I always wanted to be!

"Thank you to all my former teams, my teammates and my coaches and staff! It was a pleasure! I know at times I was not easy to work with, but I always gave my everything for the teams I played for!

"I hope you all have enjoyed my game, and everything I gave to entertain you on the pitch!"

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Victor Lindelof's strength of character and technical quality sets him up to be an influential figure in Manchester United's future.

Sweden international Lindelof agreed a new five-year contract on Wednesday, pledging his future to United until 2024 with an option to extend for a further 12 months.

The defender had been linked with Barcelona during the close-season transfer window but insisted he was "very happy" in Manchester, where he has become a regular starter.

At 25, Lindelof has been earmarked as a mainstay at centre-back alongside new signing Harry Maguire.

"Ever since I came in, I've been impressed by Victor, so now, to nail him down here, it's important," manager Solskjaer told his club's website.

"He's the modern centre-back – calm, composed and good on the ball. And, being a fellow Scandinavian, I know all about his mentality.

"You always get that mentality from Scandinavians, even though he's a Swede!"

Lindelof was not an immediate hit at Old Trafford, with the manager who signed him from Benfica, Jose Mourinho, seemingly unconvinced and unwilling to trust him with a regular starting berth.

Solskjaer has been more forthcoming with faith and chances, naming him for each of the club's opening five Premier League games of the 2019-20 campaign.

"The Premier League is a different animal to Europe," the United boss said.

"It took time for Victor, as he would admit himself now, but he's settling in. Last season, I thought he was excellent when I came here. His composure on the ball and leadership skills will be important."

Lindelof could be rested when the Red Devils begin their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday.

In-form winger Daniel James will miss the match after suffering a knock against Leicester City last weekend and is not guaranteed to face West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday.

Solskjaer said: "Dan is touch and go. He missed training [on Wednesday] and might be [out for] longer than expected, but hopefully [he'll be back for] the weekend."

Manchester United will not give up on extending Paul Pogba's stay at Old Trafford.

Pogba, 26, was heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid during the close season, despite being contracted at United until 2021, with the club also reportedly holding the option for a further 12 months.

The LaLiga giants are reportedly still interested in the France midfielder, but United have plans of their own.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA CONTRACT A PRIORITY FOR MAN UNITED

Manchester United are looking to sign Pogba on a long-term deal, according to the Evening Standard.

New contracts for Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood are priorities for the Premier League giants, the report says.

It comes after United re-signed goalkeeper David de Gea and defender Victor Lindelof.

ROUND-UP

- Amid tension with fellow goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Manuel Neuer is considering his Germany future. Bild reports Neuer, 33, could end his international career after Euro 2020.

- Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati is set to get a Spanish passport next Friday, according to AS. Portugal have reportedly made advances for the talented 16-year-old forward, but Fati looks set to be ready to feature for Spain at the Under-17 World Cup beginning in October.

- Luca Pellegrini may be on loan at Cagliari, but his future appears to be at Juventus. The Serie A champions are keen to keep the 20-year-old defender for the long-term, according to Calciomercato.

- Chelsea have received some good news on the injury front. The Sun and the Mirror report midfielder Mason Mount could face Liverpool on Sunday despite suffering an ankle sprain in Tuesday's Champions League loss to Valencia.

- Bayer Leverkusen decided to reward midfielder Kai Havertz in the close season. According to Bild, the Bundesliga club handed the five-time Germany international a wage increase from €2m to more than €5m per season.

- Paul Mitchell has opted against returning to the Premier League. Sky Sports News reports Mitchell will leave his role as head of recruitment and development at RB Leipzig at the end of the month to become technical director of Red Bull's global soccer division. The report says as many as four Premier League clubs were after the former Tottenham and Southampton recruitment chief.

Paul Pogba will not be a big loss to Manchester United should he leave, according to club great Paul Scholes.

Pogba announced at the end of the 2018-19 season that he wanted to depart Old Trafford, with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez recently confirming he tried to sign the France midfielder.

But a move failed to materialise and Pogba started the new Premier League campaign at United, though he is currently injured.

Scholes suggested the club may have asked Pogba to give them another year, similar to before Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed to join Madrid in 2009.

"I think it's quite clear he wants to move on," said Scholes, a 13-time Premier League winner during his career-long association with United.

"He wanted to go to Real Madrid, for whatever reason it didn't happen.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the same offer had been made like with Cristiano when he was at United.

"If they've asked him to stay for a year we'll see what happens, but I don't think he'll be a big loss to United.

"I don't think his form has been great anyway, over the two or three years he's been there. I'm sure there are more players who can do just as good a job."

United play their opening Europa League match against Astana on Thursday.

Pogba is expected to be sidelined by an ankle injury that caused him to miss international duty with World Cup winners France.

Victor Lindelof has signed a new long-term Manchester United contract, the club have confirmed.

Sweden defender Lindelof has committed his future to the club to 2024, with an option to extend the contract by a further year.

The centre-back joined from Benfica two years ago and has started all five Premier League games for United this term, forming a partnership with new signing Harry Maguire.

"Since the day I arrived at United it has felt like home," Lindelof told the club's official website.

"I have grown significantly both as a player and as a person in the last two years and for that I am grateful to everyone at the club for their help and support. I love playing football and my aim now is to help the team to win trophies and repay the fans for their unrivalled support.

"I know that everyone at the club shares this vision and will give everything to get Manchester United back to where it belongs.

"I'm still young and know I can improve further but with the help of the boss and his coaching staff, I believe that only good things are ahead for this great club."

The 25-year-old has made 74 appearances in all competitions for United, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delighted to have secured the defender's future.

"Victor has established himself here and has become a very important part of our team," Solskjaer said. "He brings calmness on the pitch and I can see that he is determined to help this club and to be successful here.

"I'm extremely happy that he has committed his future to Manchester United. We're all looking forward to working together to deliver the success and get United back to where we know the club belongs."

Lindelof commits his future to United in the same week Spain goalkeeper David de Gea finally signed a new long-term contract at Old Trafford.

United begin their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes David de Gea has done away with distractions and regained focus after signing a long-term contract extension with Manchester United.

Star goalkeeper De Gea ended speculation over his future when he put pen to paper on a fresh four-year deal on Monday.

Long-running negotiations dragged into the new season and kept potential suitors interested but Solskjaer grew increasingly confident of tying down the Spain international.

The United manager now expects to see the best of De Gea following a significant dip in his form last term.

"Most of the time we get to keep the ones we want to keep," said Solskjaer.

"The more I got to listen and speak to David, I was pretty confident we were going to make it.

"David is delighted. I think you could see by his performance [in the Premier League win] against Leicester that he had made up his mind. You could see the focus in his eyes again.

"You do feel very secure with a focused David behind you.

"He's really worked hard this season. He's still young. Edwin [van der Sar] signed for us when he was 35, so I'm sure David will be part of a successful United team."

De Gea will be rested when the Red Devils commence their Europa League campaign at home to Astana on Thursday.

Sergio Romero is to replace the 28-year-old in goal with Fred, Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood to join him in the starting XI.

It will be a second senior competitive start for teenager Greenwood, a talent held in high esteem by Solskjaer.

"Mason is one of the best finishers I've seen and I played with quite a few decent ones," said the former striker.

"He's still very young but he's maturing and he's developed so much since I came in. I remember the kid who just wanted to play with his mates in the Under-18s. Now he's knocking on my door wanting to play these games.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on him. It's just about enjoyment, go out and express yourself at Old Trafford."

In-form winger Daniel James will miss Manchester United's first Europa League match against Astana through injury.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Wales international James suffered a "knock" against Leicester City at the weekend and would sit out Thursday's game at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old skipped United's final training session before the Group L fixture and joins Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw on the sideline.

Jesse Lingard and Diogo Dalot are ready to return from illness and a hip problem respectively.

"He got a knock against Leicester so he won't be available," Solskjaer said of James.

"We're getting some back and losing some, so that's just the way it is."

James, who almost joined Leeds United in January, has shone since moving to Manchester from Swansea City, scoring three Premier League goals.

"Delighted with Dan," said Solskjaer. "That we signed him, that we managed to get him to Manchester is fantastic.

"He's proven with his X-factor already that he will give this squad a lot.

"I know he was very close [to Leeds], but that's football. Sometimes you have to take a chance and sometime life works in different ways, in strange ways. He's started really well here."

James will be one of several regulars missing from the starting XI as Solskjaer rotates his squad against the Kazakhstan Premier League champions.

David de Gea, fresh from signing a new four-year contract, will be rested, with Sergio Romero to replace him in goal.

Axel Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood and Fred are also set to be given opportunities from the outset.

"It's not set in stone that this tournament is just going to be youngsters," the United manager added.

"They might play in the league. The experienced ones might play in the Europa League. Those are decisions we have to make at the time."

Manchester United defender Phil Jones views the Europa League as an opportunity to work his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team plans.

The centre-back has not managed a single minute this season, with manager Solskjaer preferring Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in front of David de Gea.

Jones made it to the bench for the narrow Premier League victory over Leicester City and could come into selection contention when United begin their European campaign against Astana at Old Trafford on Thursday.

It is the first of three matches in the space of a week for the Red Devils.

"There are players like myself who've not been involved as much, but it's a chance for everyone to get games," Jones told United's official match programme.

"It's a busy period when all the games come thick and fast, when you need a big squad with everyone ready to fight. But it's a period we relish."

Eric Bailly's knee injury and Chris Smalling's loan move to Roma weakened United's centre-back stocks but Jones, a member of England's 2018 World Cup squad, understands it will be difficult to dislodge Solskjaer's regular starters.

"Since I came to this club – when I walked through the door – I knew I wasn't just going to walk into the team and expect to play," the 27-year-old added.

"Today's no different. Of course I want to play, but we've got some quality players in that position. I'll wait for my chance and hopefully I'll get a chance sooner rather than later."

United's other Europa League opponents in Group L are Serbian side Partizan and Dutch outfit AZ.

There could be a fight to prise Fabian Ruiz from Napoli.

Fabian has established himself as one of Europe's premier midfielders and the Spaniard is reportedly attracting interest.

Two LaLiga giants and the Champions League holders are said to be eyeing Fabian.

 

TOP STORY - THREE-WAY BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Liverpool are chasing Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to the Daily Mail.

Fabian swapped Real Betis for Napoli in 2018 and the Spain international has quickly become one of Europe's most sought-after midfielders.

Now three of the biggest clubs in the world are reportedly eyeing the 23-year-old.

ROUND-UP

- The Sun reports Manchester United are preparing a January move for Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson. The Red Devils have limited options up front following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez. Wilson, who has already scored three goals this season, fits the bill at Old Trafford as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes talented English players.

Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester City are all interested in Real Madrid playmaker Isco, claims Calciomercato.

Barcelona are set to offer 16-year-old sensation Ansu Fati a new five-year deal to fend off interest from European rivals, claims the Daily Mail.

- League One side Southend United want to hire former Celtic, Barca and Manchester United striker Henrik Larsson as their manager, says the Daily Mail. Southend are second bottom in the league after eight games, while Larsson was last in charge of Helsingborg before quitting in August.

- According to Globo Esporte, Flamengo are negotiating to bring Fredy Guarin to the club. The 33-year-old former Inter midfielder is a free agent after leaving Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

Jadon Sancho said he does not know what the future holds but the Borussia Dortmund star wants to win titles with the German side amid growing links to Manchester United.

Sancho has reportedly emerged as United's top transfer target following previous speculation over a move to Old Trafford during the off-season.

The 19-year-old England international produced another impressive display as Dortmund drew 0-0 with Barcelona in their Champions League opener on Tuesday.

Asked about his future post-game, Sancho told Viasport: "I can't tell the future. I just take it game by game. I just wanna give 100 per cent for Borussia Dortmund.

"I really wanna do well with Dortmund. Obviously I want to win titles and give everything."

Sancho has established himself as one of Europe's best talents after leaving Premier League champions Manchester City in 2017.

He scored 12 goals and supplied 14 assists as Dortmund finished runners-up to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga last season, while Sancho already has two goals and four league assists this term.

"It's crazy. Everything has come so fast," Sancho told Viasat. "But I have a great team. They keep me humbled. I just take it game by game and give 100 per cent."

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc was asked about Sancho prior to the goalless draw against LaLiga champions Barca on Tuesday.

"We didn't talk to them [United]," Zorc told Viasport. "They were asking us for a meeting [during the off-season]. Sancho is not for sale."

Erling Haaland made a stunning start to his Champions League career on Tuesday, becoming the eighth player to net a hat-trick on their debut in Europe's elite competition.

The 19-year-old netted all three of his goals in the first half as Salzburg crushed Genk 6-2, with Haaland the third youngest player to score a treble in the Champions League.

His first goal arrived in just the second minute, as he found the bottom-right corner in confident fashion from just inside the area, Haaland then doubled the tally just past the half-hour mark when finishing off a counter.

He completed the hat-trick – remarkably his fourth of the season across all competitions – just before the interval, tucking in from close range.

As impressive as his debut Champions League hat-trick was, he was not the first to accomplish the feat. Below, we look at those who came before.

Yacine Brahimi (Porto) v BATE – September 2014

Tricky winger Brahimi made an explosive entrance to Champions League football five years ago. He punished a goalkeeper error to open his account from a tight angle, before then adding a glorious solo effort and a pinpoint free-kick.

Grafite (Wolfsburg) v CSKA Moscow – September 2009

Brazilian striker Grafite pencilled himself into the history books in 2009 with a treble against CSKA Moscow. The powerful forward finished off a counter for his first, then converting a penalty. He rounded things off late on in the 3-1 win by converting a Marcel Schaefer cross.

Vincenzo Iaquinta (Udinese) v Panathinaikos – September 2005

Udinese made an emphatic start to their first Champions League campaign in 2005, dispatching Panathinaikos 3-0. Iaquinta was vital to that, opening the scoring with a header after wasting a couple of earlier chances. He made it 2-0 in the second half when racing on to Antonio Di Natale's pass and finishing, wrapping up the win with a fierce drive.

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) v Fenerbahce – September 2004

After joining United for a reported £24million on the back of an impressive Euro 2004, Rooney truly announced himself with a marvellous treble against Fenerbahce on his Old Trafford debut. The striker got his first 17 minutes in, emphatically converting after a Ruud van Nistelrooy pass. A fine long-range effort into the bottom-left corner followed and he then blasted home a free-kick.

Yakubu (Maccabi Haifa) v Olympiakos – September 2002

Only 19 at the time, Yakubu ran Olympiakos ragged in 2002. Having missed a 5-2 defeat to Man United through suspension, Yakubu made up for lost time on matchday two, opening the scoring with a penalty. He doubled the lead against the run of play with a smart finish after holding off a defender and later added the third after getting in behind the visitors' defence.

Tino Asprilla (Newcastle United) v Barcelona– September 1997

A vibrant, colourful character, Colombian forward Asprilla produced a performance to match against Barcelona in a 3-2 win. He opened his account with a penalty, before twice nodding in towering headers from right-wing crosses, securing a famous result for the Magpies.

Marco van Basten (AC Milan) v Goteborg – November 1992

Synonymous with the spectacular, Van Basten's first goal in the revamped Champions League – having been the European Cup before the 1992-93 season – was a lovely one, finding the top-left corner despite being off-balance. A penalty followed and then came an outrageous overhead kick from the edge of the box. The Dutchman got a fourth by rounding the goalkeeper, sealing an easy win.

David de Gea insists Manchester United's players have complete faith in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Red Devils have endured a mixed start to the 2019-20 campaign but returned to winning ways on Saturday with a slender 1-0 victory over Leicester City.

De Gea – who signed a new deal at Old Trafford until June 2023 on Monday – has dismissed suggestions some in the United camp are unhappy with Solskjaer, stating his belief the Norwegian is the right man for the job.

"From the moment he arrived here, he showed his faith in me, right from minute one," the Spain international told the official Manchester United app. "I think he had a massive impact with the team. Everyone has faith in him, that's the most important thing.

"The fans are behind him and he's a manager who knows the club really well and the people who work here, and I reckon that is essential.

"He also shows a lot of confidence in the younger players, which is important for us, and so he's a really great manager."

While United have won just two of their opening five Premier League games, they do look more solid at the back following the arrivals of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

They have conceded four goals in those games and De Gea is pleased with the enhancements in defence.

"I think we have improved a lot defensively," he added. "We are conceding fewer goals than last season. I think that, last year, we were letting in too many goals, but we are defending better and, from there, the team is improving.

"Of course, when you defend well, the team is bound to improve. We have some great players up front and we just have to keep on improving.

"There are lots of things we can work on, so, little by little, we can try and build a very strong team, a team which can dominate games more and dictate the play and, with that, win games."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears set on his determination to bring young British talent to Manchester United.

There are four English names on the United manager's radar, apparently, as he looks to rebuild the team into a title-winning force once more.

The end of the season could potentially see a spend of a similar magnitude to the £150million, more or less, that he spent on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James this year.

 

TOP STORY - MADDISON AND SANCHO TOP SOLSKJAER'S WISH LIST

As per ESPN, Manchester United will pursue deals for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Leicester City's James Maddison in 2020.

Manager Solskjaer is set on his policy of recruiting young, hungry British talent and remains keen on signing Sancho, who was reportedly a target this year.

United believe Leicester could sell Maddison for around £70m and are also interested in Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and Stoke City's Nathan Collins.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona have been ordered by a judge to pay a €300 fine or play a match behind closed doors as part of Atletico Madrid's complaint against the transfer of Antoine Griezmann, Marca say. Atleti believe they are owed more than the €120m Barca paid to activate his release clause.

- The Daily Mail report Napoli are interested in Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard, a player they value at around €34m (£30.1m). 

- A handful of reports in Italy suggest Bernard Arnault, the billionaire owner of Louis Vuitton, is interested in buying Serie A giants AC Milan

- Back with Manchester United, and Calciomercato say JuventusInter, Milan and Borussia Dortmund are all keeping an eye on Nemanja Matic, who has grown frustrated at his reduced role in Solskjaer's plans.

After many, many months of speculation, David de Gea has pledged his future to Manchester United in the form of a new contract.

The Spain international has agreed to fresh terms that will run until the end of the 2022-23 season, with the option of a further year.

De Gea is one of United's senior players these days, having joined the club from Atletico Madrid as a 20-year-old in 2011 as one of the final major signings made by Alex Ferguson before his retirement two years later.

Fergie brought in a fair few goalkeepers during his 27 years at Old Trafford. Some of them proved shrewd, pivotal signings. Some did not.

Here, we run the rule over all the keepers to join during the reign of the great Scot...

Jim Leighton (1988-91)

Leighton followed Ferguson to United from Aberdeen two years after his manager made the move. A fine player in Scotland, Leighton could not replicate that same form and was dropped for the FA Cup final replay in 1990 after some clangers in the first game.

Verdict: Miss

 

Les Sealey (1990-91, 93-94)

The man who replaced Leighton for that victorious replay against Palace, Sealey also played in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final victory over Barcelona. He sadly died at the age of just 43 in 2001 but is fondly remembered by United fans.

Verdict: Hit

 

Peter Schmeichel (1991-99)

Arguably United's greatest ever goalkeeper, Schmeichel won 11 major trophies with the Red Devils, including the famous treble in 1998-99. Even joining Manchester City before retirement has not tarnished his legacy at Old Trafford.

Verdict: Hit

 

Tony Coton (1996)

Better known as a goalkeeping coach than a player at United, Coton never made a first-team appearance for the club. Considered Watford's best ever keeper and a top player for City, his United playing days were forgettable, to say the least.

Verdict: Miss

 

Raimond van der Gouw (1996-2002)

Coton's replacement as understudy to Schmeichel and then Fabien Barthez, Van der Gouw was an astute signing who served United with aplomb - even if he didn't play too often.

Verdict: Hit

 

Nick Culkin (1997-2002)

Signed from York City, Culkin took the record for the shortest Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal just before full-time. At the end of his career, he turned out for FC United of Manchester, the team formed as part of the anti-Glazer protest movement.

Verdict: Miss

 

Mark Bosnich (1989-91, 1999-01)

After a brief stint at the club as a teenager, Bosnich was signed back to replace Schmeichel in 1999. He won a Premier League title but rarely looked convincing, particularly with his kicking, and Ferguson later criticised his professionalism. 

Verdict: Miss

 

Massimo Taibi (1999)

Taibi cost a reported £4.5million, a sizeable fee at the time. It's fair to say it was not justified. Taibi had a good debut in a win over fierce rivals Liverpool, but utterly wretched performances against Southampton and in a 5-0 loss to Chelsea more or less ended his United career before it started.

Verdict: Miss

 

Fabien Barthez (2000-04)

France's World Cup-winning goalkeeper from 1998, Barthez was both an exceptional talent and an eccentric prone to too many mistakes. He was twice a Premier League champion but simply could not be relied upon. Still, we won't forget the Laurent-Blanc-head-kissing routine in a hurry.

Verdict: Hit - just

 

Roy Carroll (2001-05)

Say 'Roy Carroll', and you think of Pedro Mendes. A Premier League and FA Cup winner with United, it was Carroll's error against Tottenham that sticks most vividly in the mind, even if the goal was somehow not given. At least it helped pave the way for goal-line technology.

Verdict: Miss

 

Ricardo (2002-05)

On his Premier League debut against Blackburn Rovers, Ricardo conceded and saved a penalty in a 3-1 win. He didn't play in the top flight again. He still considered his time at Old Trafford "a lovely experience", though.

Verdict: Miss

 

Luke Steele (2002-06)

Snapped up from Peterborough United, Steele's days with the Red Devils comprised of reserve-team matches and time on the substitute's bench. His best days came in a Barnsley shirt.

Verdict: Miss

 

Tim Howard (2003-07)

A promising talent, Howard struggled in the United limelight and infamously dropped a free-kick that led to Porto's decisive goal in a Champions League tie, leading to Jose Mourinho's wild celebratory sprint down the touchline. He had a much better career with Everton and the United States.

Verdict: Miss

 

Edwin van der Sar (2005-11)

It took six years, but United finally got their Schmeichel replacement. Van der Sar runs the Dane close as the club's greatest goalkeeper, winning four league titles and the Champions League as part of the most formidable side since the treble season.

Verdict: Hit

 

Tomasz Kuszczak (2006-12)

Another United keeper to concede and save a penalty on his debut, Kuszczak was a back-up to Van der Sar who never truly inspired confidence. He did win seven major trophies, though.

Verdict: Miss

 

Ben Foster (2005-10)

A bright talent who joined United from Stoke City, serious knee injuries hampered Foster's early career. A good goalkeeper who just wasn't quite good enough, certainly to wrestle the number one shirt away from Van der Sar, he has been a fine servant for West Brom and Watford.

Verdict: Miss - just

 

Anders Lindegaard (2010-15)

A reasonably dependable presence while De Gea adapted to life in the Premier League, Lindegaard won the title in 2012-13 in a United career that mostly went under the radar.

Verdict: Hit

 

David de Gea (2011 -)

He had some tricky early days, but De Gea soon developed into one of the world's elite goalkeepers. A dip in standards over the past 18 months does not diminish his overall standing at the club, and he is showing signs of recapturing his best form.

Verdict: Hit

It is official. David de Gea is going nowhere!

The Spain goalkeeper penned a new contract with Manchester United until 2023 on Monday, with the option to extend the deal by a further year.

De Gea's future at Old Trafford has often been the feature of debate, with Real Madrid most famously coming close to securing his signature in 2015, while Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have also been reported suitors.

But the 28-year-old, who has become recognised as one of the world's best goalkeepers during his time at United, will be with the Red Devils for the foreseeable future.

Below, we have analysed Opta data to take a look at De Gea's best Premier League stats with United.

 

MORE CLEAN SHEETS THAN A HOTEL

Since De Gea made his debut in August 2011, no other goalkeeper can boast more than his 102 clean sheets from 280 top-flight games. The nearest rival is Tottenham's Hugo Lloris ( 87 from 244 ), while Joe Hart ( 85 from 216 ) and Petr Cech ( 84 from 221 ) also feature highly on the list.


A GLOVE-LY RECORD TO HOLD

De Gea arguably enjoyed his best campaign in a Red Devils jersey during the 2017-18 campaign as he kept 18 clean sheets to clinch the Golden Glove award. In that same campaign, Ederson ( 16 ), Lloris ( 15 ) and Thibaut Courtois ( 15 ) could not match De Gea's efforts. That season saw De Gea make 14 saves in a single match against Arsenal – the most in one game (same as Tim Krul and Vito Mannone) since Opta started collecting shot save data in the 2003-04 season.


ONE HUNDRED NOT OUT

It took De Gea 264 appearances to rack up a century of Premier League clean sheets. That pales in comparison to the 180 it took former Chelsea and Arsenal stopper Cech to reach the milestone. Pepe Reina ( 198 ), Peter Schmeichel ( 212 ), David Seaman ( 225 ), Edwin van der Sar ( 247 ) and Joe Hart ( 259 ) also achieved the feat in fewer games. De Gea's best run without conceding was a streak of six between February 2 and March 30 2013.


THE VITAL PREMIER LEAGUE STATISTICS

280 – De Gea has racked up an impressive 280 top-flight appearances since making the move to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid, playing 25,184 minutes in the process.

102 – The Spain international has frequently kept opposition attacks frustrated with 102 clean sheets to date.

282 – De Gea has picked the ball out of the United goal on 282 occasions in the Premier League. The most in a single season was the 2018-19 campaign where he was beaten on 54 occasions.

785 – You do not earn the nickname "Dave saves" for nothing and De Gea has 785 to his name so far, with an impressive save percentage of 73.27.

2 – One slightly surprising area of his game is penalty saves. De Gea has stopped just two of the 24 Premier League penalties he has faced.

10 – In his eight-and-a-bit seasons to date, De Gea has been personally culpable for 10 errors leading to goals. The most in a single campaign came last term with four, while he impressively was at fault for zero in the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons.

158 – Of the 280 Premier League games he has played, De Gea has been on the winning side on 158 occasions.

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