Kevin Davies believes David de Gea has been Manchester United’s hero this season

by Richard Laverty

Preston North End striker Kevin Davies has praised David de Gea and believes he has been Manchester United’s best player this season as he prepares for the FA Cup encounter on Monday night.

De Gea has been in inspired form and has had to be given the poor defensive play on show by United in the early months of the season.

Before the Burnley game, United had looked slightly more settled with a permanent partnership of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo but injuries and suspensions meant United once again looked fragile on Wednesday night.

Davies, 37, has been a thorn in United’s side ever since his days at Southampton and became an unpopular figure at Old Trafford after some physical encounters with United players during his time at Bolton.

Now he’s at the mind games ahead of Monday’s match and seems to believe he’ll be able to trouble United’s defence.

“When you consider de Gea’s been their best player, he’s not been that well protected,” he said.

“Without him they wouldn’t be in those top four positions, I don’t think there’s any question about that.

“They haven’t had a settled back three, back four, whatever they’re playing, back five at times. Whether Van Gaal would pick the same team anyway with the rotation and things you don’t know.

“I think it’s an area they’ll need to improve if they get into the Champions League and if they want to start competing for the title again with Chelsea being so strong and Man City ahead of them.”

With rumours surrounding de Gea’s immediate United future ongoing, fans will be keen to see the Spaniard tied down a new contract given his ever increasing importance to the team.

Despite Victor Valdes signing in January, it seems de Gea will continue in goal given he played against Yeovil and in both games against Cambridge.

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