David de Gea says he was “very, very close” to joining surprise English club before Manchester United transfer

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Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea recently revealed that he was close to joining Wigan Athletic before the Red Devils.

De Gea arrived at Old Trafford in 2011 after being identified as Sir Alex Ferguson as a long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar. Ferguson missed only two United games during his time in charge of the Red Devils. One of those was when he went to scout the Spanish goalkeeper.

The Spaniard has certainly lived up to the high expectations that Sir Alex Ferguson set for him. He has been the club’s undisputed No. 1 for over a decade, making 495 appearances for the Red Devils.

However, in a recent chat with BT Sport, the shot stopper revealed that he was very close to joining Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic:

“I was in Atletico and it was the same season I made my debut and I was like the third keeper and not even count for the team much, just training. Nothing else. So, Wigan got in contact with me just to sign for them, and I was very, very close to sign for Wigan.” (h/t dailystar.co.uk)
He continued:

“I was about to go to Wigan but wanted to stay at Atletico and take my opportunity another time. The Premier League would be enjoyable and is an option I would like a bit later in life. Now is not the time to move.”
His career path could have turned out to be very different if that move materialized. While Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup in 2013, they were relegated the same year and have since played in the Championship and in League One.

De Gea, meanwhile, managed to win the Premier League title in only his second season with the Red Devils.

Sir Alex Ferguson had high expectations for David de Gea in Manchester United

Edwin van der Sar retired at the end of the 2010-11 season after making 266 appearances across all competitions for Manchester United. After bringing in a young David de Gea as his replacement, here’s what the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson said about the player:

“He’s a young goalkeeper, very quick, good composure, presence and an outstanding replacement for Van der Sar. We were looking for the same type of qualities as Edwin, because the one great quality Edwin always had was his composure and organizational ability.”

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