Three possible replacements of David de Gea if he leaves for Real Madrid

Snehanjan Banerjee / 12 August 2015

Manchester United’s David de Gea has been one of the most discussed names in the summer transfer window so far amid the interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Spaniard who had been awarded Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year for the last two seasons consecutively, was the driving force behind Red Devil’s Champions League playoff qualification this season.

However, Red Devils started their Premier League campaign against Spurs with 1-0 win on Saturday 8th August leaving de Gea out of the squad as Louis van Gaal believed the 24-year-old was unsettled and his performance will be affected due to interest from Real Madrid.

David de Gea’s current contract at United will expire next summer and the club is still demanding a huge fee which Real Madrid are refusing to meet. But its unlikely that they would rely on Sergio Romero for the whole season. Its likely that they will sell him for a good price if Real Madrid agrees to pay it rather than getting nothing for him next summer.

Under the circumstances if de Gea leaves, who could take the gloves from the Spanish international at Old Trafford?

We will be giving three potential replacements of de Gea in this article.

1. Jasper Cillessen- Ajax

The 26 year old Ajax goalkeeper is the favorite to take the gloves at the Theater of Dreams if David de Gea leaves.

The 26-year-old Dutch goalkeeper was made the Dutch No 1 keeper by current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal during his charge of the Netherlands national team. Netherlands went on to the third place of 2014 FIFA World Cup with Cillessen under the bar ahead of Tim Krul and Vorm which was a huge surprise to the whole world.

Louis van Gaal rates the Dutchman very highly and whenever de Gea transfer saga started, Cillessen became the favorite to replace the Spaniard at the Theater of Dreams. Even the Ajax number 1 talked to press about the rumor.

Cillessen is capped 21 times for the Oranje so far. He has a total of 101 Eredivisie appearances and he kept 40 clean sheets from those. Last season he kept 12 clean sheets from 32 Eredivisie games. He conceded only 26 goals in the league last season.

On the basis of per 90 minutes, he had 0.37 clean sheets, conceded 0.81 goals, made 1.97 saves, made 2.52 saves per goal, had 72% distribution accuracy, made 0.75 punches and 2.25 catches. (Source:

Cillessen is a goalkeeper who is good on the ball and is a very good distributor of the ball which makes him a good sweeper keeper which van Gaal favors and this attribute made him the Dutch number one ahead of Krul and Vorm under the current Manchester United manager.

2. Hugo Llloris- Tottenham Hotspur

Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in Premier League and also in the world.

The 28-year-old goalkeeper captains both Spurs and the French national team. Lloris is described as “a goalkeeper who boasts lightning reflexes and good decision-making and is an intimidating opponent in one-on-one situations”.

Lloris also commands his box very well. Considered one of the best keepers in the world, he is a three-time winner of the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award and was also included in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year thrice.

Lloris has appeared 72 times for Ligue 1 side Nice, 200 times for Lyon and 122 times for Spurs so far in all competitions and capped 67 times for the Les Bleus. Lloris played 35 games last season for Spurs in Premier League and kept 9 clean sheets. Lloris conceded 48 goals in those 35 games.

On the basis of per 90 minutes, Lloris had 0.24 clean sheets, conceded 1.41 goals, made 2.62 saves, made 1.93 saves per goal, had 66% distribution accuracy, made 0.79 punches and 2.32 catches last season. (Source:

3. Bernd Leno- Bayer 04 Leverkusen

The 23-year old German goalkeeper is the number one at Bayer Leverkusen. The young German is very highly rated across the world and is especially known for his terrific reflexes and shot stopping abilities. He is also a very good penalty saver. The German has 176 appearances in all competitions for the Bayer and kept 62 clean sheets.

Leno played 34 games last season for Bayer in Bundesliga and kept 16 clean sheets which is very impressive. Leno conceded 37 goals in those 34 games. On the basis of per 90 minutes, Leno had 0.47 clean sheets, conceded 1.09 goals, made 2.03 saves, made 1.92 saves per goal, had 62% distribution accuracy, made 0.65 punches and 2.50 catches last season (Source:

The promising goalkeeper has 28 youth caps for different setups in Germany. Leno made his Bundesliga debut against SV Werder Bremen. He became the third goalkeeper in the history of the Bundesliga to keep clean sheets in his first three Bundesliga games.Leno became the youngest ever goalkeeper ever to play in a Champions League match when he played against Chelsea F.C. in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League group stage on 13 September 2011, at the age of 19 years and 193 days.

Let’s compare the three goalkeepers with David de Gea according to last season’s performances.

First we compared the four goalkeepers in terms of Clean sheets, goals conceded, saves and saves per goal per 90 minutes. We can see Leno winning in the first category, Lloris in the third and Cillessen in the rest of two attributes. The Spaniard looks much poor compared to the other three if we consider the statistics only.

Next we compared the four stoppers in terms of distribution accuracy, punches and catches per 90 minutes.

Cillessen is way ahead of the other three in terms of distribution. Llloris came up as the best puncher and Leno the best catchers.

According to statistics, de Gea is not superior to the three goalkeepers here in terms of key goalkeeping attributes. However, statistics do not reveal everything. The importance of de Gea at Manchester United cannot be overlooked. But if the Spaniard leaves Old Trafford it is not impossible to replace him.

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