Ferguson predicts De Gea could win Man Utd the title

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
De Gea has impressed since his return to the Man Utd first team
De Gea has impressed since his return to the Man Utd first team

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has predicted that the club's retention of goalkeeper David De Gea on transfer deadline day could turn out to be the defining moment in this season's title race.

De Gea was on the brink of joining Real Madrid on the final day of August, only for the deal to fall through at the last after the paperwork was not filed in time with Spanish FA chiefs.

Now Ferguson is predicting the keeper he signed for United in 2011 could inspire the club towards Premier League title glory next May as he stated: "I think De Gea can actually win us the league." 

Speaking at an event in Manchester to promote his new book entitled Leading, Ferguson offered an upbeat assessment of United's chances of success under current manager Louis van Gaal.

"We are second in the league," said Ferguson, who won the title 13 times during his 26-year stewardship at Old Trafford.

"We are in a good position because, (leaders Manchester) City hadn't lost a game until last week and then United won at Southampton and the whole thing changes round.

"Chelsea have lost a couple of games, Arsenal have lost a game, if you are there around New Year's Day then they will have a good chance."

Ferguson also suggested the signing of Anthony Martial could help boost United's chances of lifting the Premier League crown, with the French youngster making a big impression on the greatest manager of them all.

"The boy Martial, he could be anybody he wants," Ferguson said.

"He doesn't panic, the ball goes into him but he doesn't panic, that's a great asset. I don't think you can teach that."

Van Gaal has said he will hand the reins over to his assistant Ryan Giggs when his contract expires in 2017, but Ferguson wonders if the Dutchman might reconsider his decision, just like he did in 2002.

"You never know what Louis will do. When you get the bug it's hard to leave," Ferguson said with a smile.

Ferguson believes Giggs is serving the perfect apprenticeship under the current United manager.

"Ryan is getting experience under Van Gaal and he did under David Moyes, so I think his learning process is very good," he added.

"People have said it might be better for him to leave, but I am not so sure about that."