Spaniards Swapping Shores

– D’s virgin post 

As M has excellently pointed out, De Gea and Cesc’s respective moves( well Cesc will get his move it’s just a matter of time) is a profitable and positive venture for all parties involved.
However, is it the right time for them?

There’s no doubt of their talents. Cesc is one of the world’s best playmakers and De Gea, potentially one of the best goal keepers of our generation.

Having said that, is Cesc truly better than whoever the Catalans have now? It is almost impossible to displace the Xavi-Ineista fulcrum, while Alcantra and Affelay are waiting in the wings.

Yes he’s a Catalan through and through. Yes, he’s a Barcelona youth product. Yes, he wants to win trophies. Yes, they want him back. When the men from Nou Camp come calling, it’s kinda like Rosie Huntington Whiteley whispering sexual advances into your ear.

But, he’s leaving behind a team hungry for success, a team brimming with young talents, a team willing in which he’s THE axis that they rely on and more importantly, a team that needs him more than Barcelona do.

At this critical stage of his career, having recovered from serious hamstring injuries, the 25-year-old needs go be playing every single game to regain his fitness and edge.

How’s he going to do that in arguably the best team in the world.

Just ask Javier Mascherano how he feels watching others play.

I’m sure the supremely talented Fabregas will be the heartbeat of the la liga champions in time to come, but the move has come 1-2 years too soon.

Similarly, De Gea may find the move to Manchester United a tad premature.

The expectations at Althetico and United cannot be more different. The Spanish side are very much like Liverpool- they want to be successful, they’ve the players to be successful, but that pressure ends up suffocating them.

As a result, their star players usually end up leaving after 2-3 seasons.

At Old Trafford, nothing less than a win will do. A single fumble will be collectively and simultaneously frowned upon by the millions of fans around the world.

As a goal keeper, mistakes are pretty hard to disguise. Once a shot stoppers confidence gets battered, it’s half the battle lost.

Although the 20-year-old( gosh what am I doing with my life) seems to possess a maturity that belies his age, as M has pointed out, experience comes with age and goal keepers improve with experience, which is why the older keepers are usually the better ones.

There’s simply no margin for error and time to learn at the Theatre of Dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, De Gea is a bloody good goal keeper, as I fondly remember how he kept out Liverpool during the Europa league semi finals.

But like Cesc, his move has come a bit too early for his own good.

And I hope for my team’s sake, I will be proven right.

    • faux londoner’s view from the above
    • July 3rd, 2011

    -crafting this on a rumbling stomach just before dinner

    dear D,

    I agree with your aforementioned point where “experience comes with age and goalkeepers improve with experience, which is why the older keepers are usually the better ones”. Manchester United certainly has a list of potential candidates to pick from.

    They included the more experienced and World Cup finalist Maarten Stekelenburg, Munich-bound Manuel Neuer (whose reputation curiously emerged somewhat unscathed following their recent Champions League semi-final capitulation), France No. 1 Hugo Lloris.

    In essence, David de Gea is the youngest of the lot and the most inexperienced. One has to admit that United’s recruitment of goalkeepers has never been satisfactory and even poor for a club of such stature in world football.

    However, there are a few reasons why United splashed 18 million pounds on a 20 year-old goalkeeper with a total of 84 top flight appearances.

    Looking at this transfer window, potential seems to be the theme of United’s campaign in the market. Philip Anthony Jones, a reported 16.5 million pounds signing, clearly has the word “future” written all over his face. Ashley Simon Young, on the other hand, at the age of 26 this coming 9th of July, is a questionable acquisition, given other pressing needs on various areas of the pitch. Both players do not have the label of “established” stamped and chopped over their still-maturing careers. Yet, of all three signings that United have made so far, David de Gea Quintana is the only one with continental success, lifting both the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.

    Given United’s dearth of success in continental competition, one can only assume that this purchase is only a part of the grand scheme to overhaul the current and deserved champions of Europe.

    As I’ve learnt in the past, it isn’t a wise decision to question Fergie’s purchases. Just as he unearths coal pieces like Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, better known as Bebe, and Gabriel Obertan, diamonds in the rough like Patrice Evra, the second Frenchman after Eric Cantona to captain United and Nemanja Vidic, the incumbent, both from the same January transfer window of 2006 emerge.

    Back to de Gea, in my opinion, he is very young and brings with him a lot of potential. Another goalkeeper having a similar reputation at a young age is the current Spanish No. 1 Iker Casillas, dubbed Saint Iker by his fans. He is among esteemed company, having tasted success at such an age. Casillas, a Champions League winner at a tender age of 19 and the predecessor of his record Fabien Barthez with Marseille in 1993 (remember him?). If the heights achieved by Casillas are what de Gea could do, then the sky is the limit for the young Spaniard with a right frame of mind and the strength in character to recover from mistakes.

    About Atletico Madrid, as much as clubs do not like to admit, they are part of the food pyramid representing transfer market forces. Football fans know which few clubs exist at the top of the entire pyramid and both are from La Liga. Judging from transfer windows past and present, it isn’t difficult to see that Atletico Madrid are as more of a selling club than a buying type. For any club to have lost Fernando Torres and soon their only link to Argentine royalty, Sergio Aguero, does not bode well for most clubs. With the current son-in-law of Maradona itching for a move away, it shows that Atletico Madrid do not keep enough good players in a team for a couple of season to even be considered as successful. They represent the “bolt of the blue” group of clubs that can win A SINGLE trophy if everything falls nicely into place for them.

    If they had kept Torres and are able to convince Aguero and Forlan to stay, they might have possessed a potent strikeforce that could trouble Barcelona and their Madrid neighbours within the next few seasons. Right now, they are losing every piece of that jigsaw puzzle season-by-season that enables them to build complete team capable of challenging for the La Liga.

    About premature moves, it is another story for another day.

    Yours sincerely,

    Lists the recently-retired Paul Scholes as his one of his idols but seems to have only inherited his notorious tackling ability and mistakenly put a treacherous Argentinian by the name of Gabriel Heinze among his favourite United players before realising his grave error of judgement.

    PS (I should be really starting on my Cold War assignment by now)

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