After 12 seasons at Manchester United, David de Gea says an emotional farewell to the club and its fans.
The club and the keeper have announced their separation.
De Gea thinks it’s time for a “new challenge.”
The club praises ‘one of the best goalkeepers in club history’.
WHAT HAPPENED? De Gea and Manchester United announced their expected split on Saturday afternoon, with both the player and the club sharing sentiments of mutual respect. The Spaniard departs Old Trafford after 12 years, almost 500 appearances, and four times being named the club’s player of the year.
WHAT THEY SAID: On Instagram, the Spaniard said, “I would like to show my unwavering admiration and gratitude for the love over the last 12 years.” We’ve accomplished a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me here. Every time I put on this shirt, I felt tremendous pride.
“It’s been an unforgettable and fruitful time since I arrived here.” I never imagined that when I left Madrid as a young child, we would achieve what we did together.
“Now is the time to take on a new challenge, to push myself in new environments.”
“Manchester will always have a special place in my heart; it shaped me and will never leave me.”
“We’ve seen everything. 🤘🏼❤️”
Additionally, United’s official website paid tribute to “one of the greatest goalkeepers in the club’s history” shortly after.
“It takes great quality and character to even play one game for Manchester United,” manager Erik ten Hag continued. It takes a rare accomplishment to do it 545 times in 12 years, especially in the goalkeeping position, when every game puts you in the limelight.
“Winning Player of the Year awards given by the fans and his team-mates four times demonstrates the level of his performance, and he is going to be remembered as one of the very best goalkeepers in the club’s history.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: A breakup looked certain as De Gea’s contract ended with little chance of renewal. United looked hesitant to match the goalkeeper’s prior deal, indicating that both sides believed it was time to move on.
MANCHESTER UNITED: WHAT COMES NEXT? After paying tribute to their number one for the past 12 years, United will now focus on signing selected successor Andre Onana.