4:31AM BST 30 Jun 2011
Such was the manner of Manchester United's Wembley defeat by Barcelona last month that most of the club's supporters were left wondering exactly when it was realistic for Sir Alex Ferguson's squad to conquer Europe once more.
The arrivals of De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones do not appear to be the answer on their own, even at a combined cost in excess of £50 million, mainly due to the retirements of Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes.
However, De Gea is convinced United should continue to aim high.
''Aiming to win the Champions League is realistic,'' De Gea told MUTV. ''That is what we're going to do.''
Before that, the 20-year-old accepts he is heading for a fairly steep learning curve.