Rooney backs De Gea

England striker backs his Spanish team-mate to be a hit

De Gea: Showing his great handling skills as he claims a cross

Wayne Rooney has come to the defence of beleaguered Manchester United keeper David De Gea after his recent string of errors.

The Spain Under 21 international was recruited from Atletico Madrid for £18.3 million as a replacement for the peerless Edwin van der Sar.

But his transition from the Primera Liga to the Premier League has been far from seamless.

"He is still young and has probably got a lot to learn, but he is working hard and doing well in training."

Wayne Rooney

Quotes of the week

De Gea made rudimentary errors in his first two games against Manchester City in the Community Shield and West Brom in his Premier League opener.

Fault

He was also at fault for Theo Walcott's goal in the 8-2 trouncing of Arsenal last Sunday but Rooney believes he has seen enough of the young 'keeper's talent in training to know he will come good.

"David is obviously a good shot-stopper," said Rooney.

"I hadn't seen much of him before he signed, but that was something I saw immediately. Also his passing out from the back is alongside Edwin's. He rarely kicks long to a forward.

"He is still young and has probably got a lot to learn, but he is working hard and doing well in training."

Talented

At United, being a talented player is not enough; it is usually allied with a huge measure of mentally toughness which makes the team so competitive.

And it is this quality that Rooney has also seen in his new team-mate.

"He is a strong character," he added. "After the Manchester City game, and then West Brom, he didn't seem to be affected.

"He was on the training pitch the next day, working hard. The last couple of games he's done well for us and he will only get better the more he plays."