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Ruud van Nistelrooy

What A Difference One Week Makes…

Going into the FA Cup Final, things seemed to be looking up for David de Gea. Despite an uneven season, the longtime Manchester United #1 won his second Premier League Golden Glove award and looked set to sign a new contract— albeit for less money.

He wasn’t guaranteed to be the starter going into next season, but by accepting a hefty pay cut, he was set to stay at United and either compete for the top job or transition into a role as a backup and locker room leader.

But the seven day period between the FA Cup Final and the Champions League Final might have changed everything.


The Forgotten Man

He’s the first Manchester United player to score 20 goals in his debut season since Ruud van Nistelrooy. He was a vital part of two title-winning teams and scored many important goals along the way. He especially had a knack for scoring against Chelsea. Since joining United in 2010, he’s scored in four of eight league matches against the Blues and has netted against them in the League Cup, F.A. Cup, Champions League and Community Shield. Some players are born to score goals, and this guy could do it with his feet, his head, the back of his head, and even with his face while falling down. Last season, while on loan, he made six fewer starts than Radamel Falcao yet still managed to score more than twice as many goals as the Colombian “hitman.”

And yet, prior to the start of Manchester United’s pre-season tour, it looked like Louis van Gaal had completely forgotten about Javier Hernandez. Indeed, as recently as April, van Gaal was dismissive of the forward who has scored 59 goals for United in 154 appearances (1 goal every 2.6 appearances- not bad when you consider 68 of those 154 appearances were as a substitute). “Chicharito’s future?” he asked rhetorically. “I have already sent him away once. When you score a goal, as he has just done for Real Madrid, are you suddenly different? I don’t think so.”