The question is whether Real Madrid really intended to complete the transfer of David De Gea from Manchester United to Real Madrid. After all why spend £30 million on a player, when he is be available for nothing in a year’s time? Just as importantly was there a need to replace your current goalkeeper, who was voted as the outstanding goalkeeper from La Liga during the 2013-14 season with the outstanding keeper in the English Premier League in 2014-15?
Sportsmatrix examined the data for both players, Navas from 2013-14 when he played for Levante against De Gea from last season and discovered the following:
Both players were outstanding in coping with shots and headers on goal, with Navas conceding a lower percentage of goals to shots (16.9%) than De Gea (25.6%). De Gea made a higher percentage of good saves (30.8%), with Navas more prone to making mistakes.
Whilst De Gea tended to remain on his goal line when facing crosses, Navas was by far the more active goalkeeper, reacting to over 15% of crosses, compared to approximately 7% by De Gea. Navas made a slightly higher percentage of mistakes in coping with crosses, although this attributable to the fact that he was considerably more pro-active.
Navas had to defend a slightly greater number of 1-on-1 situations per game (1.7 .v. 1.2), performing a significantly higher percentage of good actions (36.7%) than De Gea (20.9%) and a lower percentage (5.6%) of bad actions than the Manchester United keeper (19.2%).
De Gea was forced to cope with a slightly greater number of under pressure actions per game (3.4) than Navas (2.7), with the Costa Rican stopper more likely to relieve the pressure (85.3% .v. 68.5%) and less likely to lose possession (3.2% .v. 10.5%).
The data also shows that Navas distributed the ball better, with 21% of his actions rated as good, compared to only 8.8% good actions by De Gea; however De Gea was far more likely to pass or throw the ball out to a teammate (60.7%) than Navas (26.4%), who distributed a higher percentage of long balls (73.6%).
Regardless of whether the young Spanish keeper eventually joins Real Madrid, for now they have a goalkeeper who has proven that he is more than capable of filling that key position.