Manchester United goalkeeping coach Emilio Alvarez is very close to David De Gea, with the pair spending plenty of time together away from football as well as on the training pitch.

Alvarez has been speaking to Radio Marca about De Gea’s struggles with the national team. The goalkeeper hasn’t been quite as good for his country as he has for club, before the recent form issues with the latter, but often the criticism has seemed way over the top.

It also took a little longer than it should for De Gea to replace Iker Casillas in the national team, with the Manchester United player deserving of the No.1 role before he actually got it.

Alvarez feels his player would have enjoyed an easier ride if he played for a big Spanish club, rather than in the Premier League, something which has been mentioned repeatedly by fans of the Old Trafford club.

Speaking to Radio Marca, he said: “Whoever was going to follow Iker Casillas for Spain would’ve found it difficult.

“If De Gea played for one of the Spanish clubs, I’m sure that he would’ve had more support in certain moments. Those of us that know him want him to be judged for who he is as a professional and leave it to him to show what kind of person he is.”

Chelsea’s Kepa was chosen to start for Spain’s last match, against the Faroe Islands, and Alvarez responded to that: “Nothing surprises me in football. We have to respect the coach’s decision.”

He was also asked whether Paul Pogba could fit into Real Madrid’s system, and said: “Great players fit into any team and any system.”