Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims David de Gea has been ‘best goalkeeper in world’ for last 10 years

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says David de Gea is STILL 'the best goalkeeper in the world' amid stinging criticism

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes David de Gea has been the best goalkeeper in world football over the past decade.

The Spaniard, who joined the club from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £19million, is poised to overtake Peter Schmeichel as the club’s overseas player with the most appearances when United travel to Aston Villa on Thursday evening.

De Gea has made a string of high-profile errors this season, but Solskjaer is sticking by his goalkeeper

However, the 29-year-old has come under increased scrutiny in recent months for a string of high-profile mistakes.

None more so than when he made a calamitous error for Tottenham’s opener in United’s first match back after the restart, with Roy Keane letting rip at the goalkeeper in an astonishing rant.

There have even been growing calls for Solskjaer to replace De Gea with Dean Henderson, who has been a standout performer for Premier League surprise package Sheffield United.

But the Norwegian boss, whose side are on a brilliant 16-match unbeaten run, has launched a staunch defence of his goalkeeper, insisting he has been the best in the world in his position over the last 10 years.

Solskjaer’s men are on a 16-match unbeaten run and are targeting the top four places

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Solskjaer’s men are on a 16-match unbeaten run and are targeting the top four places

“David’s had some fantastic seasons here now and next year is his tenth,” Solskjaer told talkSPORT.

“I think he has proven Eric Steele [former goalkeeping coach] right, that we believed in him.

“He struggled a bit with the physicality of the football in England but for me he’s been the best goalkeeper in the world over the last nine or ten years.

“And to work with him closely you see he’s still keen to learn and he’s still working hard.

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“Richard [Hartis] has come in with Craig [Mawson] as the coaches and they’ve reignited the spark in David and he’s working really hard in training.”

Solskjaer also insisted that those personnel who have had less minutes than others in his United squad over recent weeks will be raring to go when called upon as the season draws to a hectic close.

“There are not many that haven’t played in the last two weeks,” he said of his players not in the team. “They all know they are fit and available, that they are valued. It’s not an issue.

“There are so many things to play for. Trophies – the FA Cup, the Europa League – but also the top four in the league. The group is very tight knit and they all know they’ve got a part to play.”

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