Ferguson: De Gea is ideal replacement

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident that David de Gea will prove a suitable replacement for retired goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

The 20-year-old stopper made an £18 million switch to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in June, after Ferguson identified the Spaniard as the long-term successor to Dutch veteran Van der Sar.

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And the Scot has now moved to allay fears over the physical presence of the Spain Under-21 international, having previously cited his failure to sign Petr Cech due to his age at the time as a factor behind his move for De Gea.

"Replacing Edwin van der Sar is very difficult," said Ferguson. "He was a great goalkeeper.

"But the benefit we have with De Gea is that he is only 20.The qualities that stood out for us are his great composure and use of the ball.

"He is quick and agile, which is something we banked on. When we assessed him I thought he was the right goalkeeper to take."

By Andrew Kennedy