Cape Town - Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has often been the rock holding his side's defence together during a difficult season, and the Spaniard's string of saves in the 1-0 win at Liverpool on Sunday once again proved his value to the club.
The impressive 25-year-old Spanish international was targeted by Real Madrid all through the close season and when a proposed move fell through at the last minute, his team mates were naturally delighted to see the world class keeper stay.
"David is a very important player in our squad. We are very happy to have him and happy that he didn't go last summer. He is fully committed to this football club," midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin told the club's website.
"When you have a player like this in goal, it's good for us, because we know we are not going to concede many goals and he is going to make some saves."
The Frenchman's views were echoed by defender Chris Smalling, who believes De Gea will be a vital component in Manchester United's push for honours in the second-half of the season.
"When we knew he was lining up for us for the whole season, it was a great feeling because he is one of the best," England international Smalling said.
"He is a very calm guy but on the pitch, he is very much talking to us as a unit and we know his game inside out.
"It's good to know that if we are beaten as a defence, we still have a great chance to keep the ball out."
United, who are fifth in the league after 22 matches and seven points behind leaders Arsenal, host 10th-placed Southampton in the league on Saturday.