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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Josh O'Brien

Erik ten Hag responds as David de Gea suddenly confirms his Man Utd exit on social media

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has insisted he is "personally grateful" for David de Gea's efforts as the goalkeeper confirmed his Old Trafford exit after 12 years at the club.

The long-running 'will he won't he' stay saga surrounding the Spaniard's future is finally over after De Gea himself broke the news of his departure with an emotional statement uploaded to social media. His update comes amid increased speculation suggesting Ten Hag has already found his successor in the form of Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana.

While the Dutchman is no doubt focused on who he should bring in to line up between the sticks for United next term, Ten Hag was gracious enough to bid farewell to De Gea with a moving message of his own.

The United boss explained: “It takes great quality and character to reach the level of even playing one game for Manchester United. To do it 545 times over 12 years is a special achievement, particularly in the goalkeeping position where every game puts you in the spotlight.

"To have won Player of the Year awards from both the fans and his team-mates, each on four occasions, shows the level of his performance and he will always be remembered as one of the very best goalkeepers in the history of the club.

"I am personally grateful for the 25 clean sheets he helped provide last season and his overall contribution on the pitch during my first year at the club. All the players and staff send him our very best wishes for the next phase of his outstanding career."

HAVE YOUR SAY! Where does De Gea rank among United's legends? Comment below

David de Gea has confirmed he is leaving Manchester United (Getty Images)

De Gea first arrived in Manchester from LaLiga titans Atletico Madrid back in 2011, when Sir Alex Ferguson was still manager at Old Trafford. He won his first Premier League title with the club in 2012-13, Ferguson's final campaign of his illustrious reign.

Therefore, he has seen plenty during his time at the club, as he alluded to in his own heartfelt farewell message posted to Twitter.

"I just wanted to send this farewell message to all Manchester United supporters," he wrote. "I would like to express my unwavering gratitude and appreciation for the love from the last 12 years.

"We’ve achieved a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club. I took incredible pride every time I pulled on this shirt, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honour only bestows upon a few lucky footballers.

"It’s been an unforgettable and successful period since I came here. I didn’t think from leaving Madrid as a young boy we would achieve what we did together.

"Now, it’s the right time to undertake a new challenge, to push myself again in new surroundings. Manchester will always be in my heart, Manchester has shaped me and will never leave me. We’ve seen it all."

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