With David de Gea having signed a new deal, we assess the Manchester United goalkeepers signed by Alex Ferguson.
After many, many months of speculation, David de Gea has pledged his future to Manchester United in the form of a new contract.
The Spain international has agreed to fresh terms that will run until the end of the 2022-23 season, with the option of a further year.
De Gea is one of United’s senior players these days, having joined the club from Atletico Madrid as a 20-year-old in 2011 as one of the final major signings made by Alex Ferguson before his retirement two years later.
Fergie brought in a fair few goalkeepers during his 27 years at Old Trafford. Some of them proved shrewd, pivotal signings. Some did not.
Here, we run the rule over all the keepers to join during the reign of the great Scot…
There’s no place like home pic.twitter.com/OBPoYW7uRq
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) September 16, 2019
Jim Leighton (1988-91)
Leighton followed Ferguson to United from Aberdeen two years after his manager made the move. A fine player in Scotland, Leighton could not replicate that same form and was dropped for the FA Cup final replay in 1990 after some clangers in the first game.
Les Sealey (1990-91, 93-94)
The man who replaced Leighton for that victorious replay against Palace, Sealey also played in the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final victory over Barcelona. He sadly died at the age of just 43 in 2001 but is fondly remembered by United fans.
Peter Schmeichel (1991-99)
Arguably United’s greatest ever goalkeeper, Schmeichel won 11 major trophies with the Red Devils, including the famous treble in 1998-99. Even joining Manchester City before retirement has not tarnished his legacy at Old Trafford.
Tony Coton (1996)
Better known as a goalkeeping coach than a player at United, Coton never made a first-team appearance for the club. Considered Watford’s best ever keeper and a top player for City, his United playing days were forgettable, to say the least.
Raimond van der Gouw (1996-2002)
Coton’s replacement as understudy to Schmeichel and then Fabien Barthez, Van der Gouw was an astute signing who served United with aplomb – even if he didn’t play too often.
Nick Culkin (1997-2002)
Signed from York City, Culkin took the record for the shortest Premier League debut when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal just before full-time. At the end of his career, he turned out for FC United of Manchester, the team formed as part of the anti-Glazer protest movement.
Mark Bosnich (1989-91, 1999-01)
After a brief stint at the club as a teenager, Bosnich was signed back to replace Schmeichel in 1999. He won a Premier League title but rarely looked convincing, particularly with his kicking, and Ferguson later criticised his professionalism.
Massimo Taibi (1999)
Taibi cost a reported £4.5million, a sizeable fee at the time. It’s fair to say it was not justified. Taibi had a good debut in a win over fierce rivals Liverpool, but utterly wretched performances against Southampton and in a 5-0 loss to Chelsea more or less ended his United career before it started.
Fabien Barthez (2000-04)
France’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper from 1998, Barthez was both an exceptional talent and an eccentric prone to too many mistakes. He was twice a Premier League champion but simply could not be relied upon. Still, we won’t forget the Laurent-Blanc-head-kissing routine in a hurry.
Verdict: Hit – just
Roy Carroll (2001-05)
Say ‘Roy Carroll’, and you think of Pedro Mendes. A Premier League and FA Cup winner with United, it was Carroll’s error against Tottenham that sticks most vividly in the mind, even if the goal was somehow not given. At least it helped pave the way for goal-line technology.
On his Premier League debut against Blackburn Rovers, Ricardo conceded and saved a penalty in a 3-1 win. He didn’t play in the top flight again. He still considered his time at Old Trafford “a lovely experience”, though.
Luke Steele (2002-06)
Snapped up from Peterborough United, Steele’s days with the Red Devils comprised of reserve-team matches and time on the substitute’s bench. His best days came in a Barnsley shirt.
Tim Howard (2003-07)
A promising talent, Howard struggled in the United limelight and infamously dropped a free-kick that led to Porto’s decisive goal in a Champions League tie, leading to Jose Mourinho’s wild celebratory sprint down the touchline. He had a much better career with Everton and the United States.
Edwin van der Sar (2005-11)
It took six years, but United finally got their Schmeichel replacement. Van der Sar runs the Dane close as the club’s greatest goalkeeper, winning four league titles and the Champions League as part of the most formidable side since the treble season.
Tomasz Kuszczak (2006-12)
Another United keeper to concede and save a penalty on his debut, Kuszczak was a back-up to Van der Sar who never truly inspired confidence. He did win seven major trophies, though.
Ben Foster (2005-10)
A bright talent who joined United from Stoke City, serious knee injuries hampered Foster’s early career. A good goalkeeper who just wasn’t quite good enough, certainly to wrestle the number one shirt away from Van der Sar, he has been a fine servant for West Brom and Watford.
Verdict: Miss – just
Anders Lindegaard (2010-15)
A reasonably dependable presence while De Gea adapted to life in the Premier League, Lindegaard won the title in 2012-13 in a United career that mostly went under the radar.
David de Gea (2011 -)
He had some tricky early days, but De Gea soon developed into one of the world’s elite goalkeepers. A dip in standards over the past 18 months does not diminish his overall standing at the club, and he is showing signs of recapturing his best form.