De Gea pulled off a number of good saves as Man United beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield last week.
The Spaniard has been in superb form for United over the course of the campaign after a move to Real Madrid collapsed on the final day of the Spanish transfer window in the summer. Smalling believes De Gea is an invaluable part of the side.
“When we knew he was lining up for us for the whole season, it was a great feeling because he is one of the best,” Smalling said.
“He pulled off great saves and his distribution, especially with those balls to Wazza and Jesse further forward, was terrific. That set us up on the attack. He is a good shot-stopper and a good organiser too. He is a very calm guy but on the pitch, he is very much talking to us as a unit and we know his game inside out. It’s good to know that if we are beaten as a defence, we still have a great chance to keep the ball out.”
De Gea is rightly considered to be one of the best keepers in the world and United should be very thankful that his move to Madrid collapsed as things could have been a lot worse without him.
While Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet continues to struggle in-between the sticks, De Gea has saved United on a number of occasions. With Madrid hit by a transfer ban recently, the hope is that De Gea stays at Old Trafford for a while yet.