Sir Alex Ferguson believes age is not an issue for Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.
A big-money deal has helped to lure the Spaniard to England, with his former employers Atletico Madrid pocketing around £18million.
Filling Edwin Van der Sar’s boots will be tough, with the Dutchman having become something of an Old Trafford icon during his days with United.
As if the pressure of stepping into that void, at a club the size of United, is not enough, De Gea is just 20 years old.
Many would buckle under the weight of expectation, but Ferguson is convinced he has snapped up a talented youngster who has his feet firmly on the ground and is blessed with an abundance of talent – much like a pre-Chelsea Petr Cech.
He said: “I went to see Cech when he was at Rennes. He was 19 and I said to myself: ‘Yeah, he’s too young’. But Chelsea bought him not long afterwards for £7m or something and he’s never been out of the team.
“So youth, age, it doesn’t matter when you have the ability of a goalkeeper like Cech or, we know, David De Gea has.
“He’s young, quick and has fantastic presence and composure. His use of the ball is outstanding.”
De Gea is yet to join up with his new team-mates, but he is due to jet to America over the weekend and could be handed an immediate opportunity to impress in United’s friendly date with the Seattle Sounders.
Ferguson, who is also waiting for England U21 international Phil Jones to arrive in the States, added: “Obviously De Gea joins us in Seattle, along with Jones, so it will be good to get them involved right away as we’re not too far away from the start of the season, so we’ve a bit of work to do there.
“They are the future of the club. The likes of Chris Smalling, Jones and Jonny Evans – we’ve got the three best centre-backs in the country, young ones.
“I watched the England U21 games against Spain and they did very well. I had five players, including De Gea, in the game, so it was of interest to me.
“That’s what we’re always trying to achieve, a foundation. And we have one that’s very strong.”