David de Gea is not worth his new four-year bumper contract at Manchester United, according to both former manager Jose Mourinho and ex-midfielder Roy Keane.
The Spaniard has signed a fresh deal that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023 to ward off speculation that he could leave United on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Having been signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011, the 28-year-old has helped the Red Devils to domestic and European success during his eight years at the club.
However, he came under fire last season for a number of uncharacteristic errors that seemed to suggest that he was past his prime, with his run as PFA Goalkeeper of the Year brought to an end by Manchester City’s Ederson.
Speaking ahead of United’s clash with West Ham on Sky Sports Super Sunday , both Mourinho and Keane were quick to question the credibility of handing De Gea such a lucrative new deal when he did not necessarily have any other options away from the club at a similar level.
Mourinho, who left his post as Red Devils boss last December, was sceptical of the keeper’s standing across the rest of the world, though he admits that he is a technically gifted performer.
“I think the moment where he signs his huge contract is the moment where I don’t think United need to pay as much as that to have him,” he stated.
“One or two years ago he had the world after him and, in this moment, when he signed his incredible contract, I think the majority of the big doors were closed.
“Real Madrid’s door is closed, they don’t sign a goalkeeper after [Thibaut] Courtois, Barcelona is closed with the young and fantastic [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen, Paris Saint-Germain is closed because they signed Keylor Navas, who is a very good goalkeeper and 34 years old for a goalkeeper is not a problem at all.
“I don’t see United under pressure because David is going to disappear. Who is going to pay these numbers? So, I think he gets a phenomenal contract in a moment where he is a bit lucky to get it.
“Is he good? Yes, he’s very good, in the same way I was saying that [Victor] Lindelof is good in some aspects and not as good in other aspects of the game, I could say the same about David.
“He is much better on the line than he is coming out but I think in goal his agility, his technical level, is second to none.”
Keane, who played for United between 1993 and 2005, feels that De Gea is not worth the investment Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are continuing to pour into him too, adding: “I’m not so sure, honestly.
“Listen, keepers can make mistakes. I’ve always worried about him. Every time I’ve watched him, it’s kind of the character side of him.
“He never seems to be commanding – not obviously his entire career – but I never get the impression he’s that kind of character who puts demands on the people around him.
“These are all big mistakes. The big test for any [player], particularly goalkeepers at Man Utd, is how you react after a mistake, and I think he’s making far too many mistakes.
“I was just never convinced by the character side of him, putting demands on the people around him. Technically he’s a good goalkeeper, of course he is, there’s no getting away from that, but I think it’s more the package.
“I’ve always had my questions marks over him, but that’s just a personal thing.”