Man Utd goalkeeper praises rival

Lindegaard backs De Gea to come good

January 26, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard is confident that David De Gea will fulfil his potential and become the Red Devils No. 1, but has warned his team-mate he may have to wait for the honour.

David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard Man utd
GettyImagesAnders Lindegaard has usurped David De Gea as Man Utd's No. 1 in recent weeks

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De Gea, 21, arrived at United from Atletico Madrid last summer in a deal believed to be worth £18 million but has come under fire for several high-profile errors in his debut season.

And after failing to claim the cross that resulted in Blackburn Rovers' winner at Old Trafford in December, the Spain Under-21 international was dropped in favour of Lindegaard - who has kept seven clean sheets in eight Premier League games this season.

Lindegaard is expected to retain his place between the posts for this Sunday's visit to Arsenal, but has predicted that his goalkeeping rival will prove his worth to United in the long term.

"David has extraordinary attributes, he is extremely explosive and powerful," Lindegaard said. "He is only 21, but his potential is massive and there is no doubt he will be United's best goalkeeper at some point.

"My job is to make sure it is not until I have retired, which is about 10 years away! Of course, everyone wants to play as much as possible and I'm no different, so I don't need a definition of my position [as first-choice]."

Choosing a suitable successor to Edwin van der Sar represents a chief priority for Sir Alex Ferguson, who is desperate to avoid a repeat of the long search for a replacement for Peter Schmeichel after his retirement in 1999 - which only ended when the Dutchman signed in 2005.

Lindegaard is desperate to fill the No. 1 slot but says he is also working hard to help De Gea improve.

"I am doing everything I can to help him." Lindegaard said. "I enjoy working with him. "He is happy, intelligent, always with a good attitude and we have to push each other. We have to see the glass half full, not half empty, and we have to push each other in the right direction.

"It has been very good for both of us. Every time we play, the last guy to wish the keeper good luck is the other keeper. We have a very good relationship and I enjoy working with him.

"But it says a lot for me that I am keeping him out of the team and I am very proud of what I have made out of this. Three years ago, I was in Denmark's second division and nobody knew my name. When I first came here, nobody could pronounce it

"It has been fantastic to this point and right now is not the time to relax but to keep pushing on, to get better and to get the best for yourself and the club."

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