David de Gea has predicted academy stars such as Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira will become the future of Manchester United, following their contribution at Old Trafford in the current campaign. The Spain international also describes himself as being in his best-ever physical shape, but hopes to improve even further as the team fight for silverware.
The Premier League giants have struggled recently, with critics pointing to manager Louis van Gaal's defensive tactics that have seen them win just three games in the last 12. However, one positive of the Dutchman's reign has been the number of academy starlets claiming spots in the first team.
Last season the likes of Paddy McNair, James Wilson, Tyler Blackett and Lingard were given chances in the main team, with the latter breaking through to the starting line-up in a number of games this campaign.
Meanwhile, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela have both followed the same path with first-team debuts, and De Gea believes they are adapting to the cause.
"I think we have a very young side and I think that the youngsters who are coming up through the youth ranks are fitting in really well," De Gea said to Inside United. "They are all good players and they represent the future of Manchester United. I reckon that gradually they will become the side of the future and we're all delighted that they're with us."
De Gea has been a standout during the Red Devils' disjointed campaign, after putting the disappointment of his collapsed move to Real Madrid in the summer transfer window behind him.
"I feel really good right now. I'm probably in the best physical shape of my career," he said. "Let's hope that there is still a lot ahead of me to achieve and that I can continue to improve in order to reach my highest possible level of performance."
The Spanish custodian also feels that despite recent form, Manchester United are still fighting for silverware this term. United are already out of the Champions League and the Capital One Cup, but sit fourth in the league table, six points behind pace-setters Leicester City.
"Well of course that's what we all want to do, win trophies... that's fine, but we have to wait and see what happens and if there are any injuries and if things go well for us," he said." Let's hope we can win something."