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Man Utd legend Stepney: Lindegaard, De Gea proved themselves good enough

Manchester United legend Alex Stepney feels the club's goalkeeping stocks are as strong as ever.

David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard both proved their class last season.

Stepney told the Manchester Evening News: "We've had a season where the focus has been fixed on the position but I think all that is behind David and Anders now. I don't think there will be much talk about it at all. The focus will shift to another position.

"I think the goalkeeping department is strong again."

Stepney also believes the battle to be Sir Alex Ferguson's chosen one at Everton has probably already been decided.

"If nothing untoward happens in pre-season, I think the manager will go with the keeper who ended the season and that will be David de Gea.

"Lindegaard has done nothing wrong. He is a very steady goalkeeper. There are no frills or anything fancy about his game. You can rely on him. He is a safe keeper and United needed that at times last year.

"I am very confident in both of them now. Anders never had any bad publicity last season at all and it was unfortunate for him he was injured just as he was getting a run in the side.

"It might have been difficult for David if Anders had continued. But having got his place back, De Gea improved. I know he looks back on his late free-kick save from Juan Mata when United were drawing 3-3 at Chelsea in February as a turning point, but for me it was the match at Norwich later that month.

"The Mata save was great but I don't judge keepers on saves. Every goalkeeper makes decent saves - it is the less glamorous bread and butter stuff like handling, distribution and communication that makes the difference.

"I watched de Gea and the back four's reaction to him earlier in the season and they looked nervous and edgy. But I remember seeing him come for crosses early on at Norwich and the defence just looked so much more comfortable with him. I think he grew in stature after that and those around him had confidence in him.

"I thought he became an English goalkeeper that day. He finally seemed to grasp what it was all about. It was a breakthrough for him."

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Tribal Football Staff

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