Sergio Romero claims “nobody knew me” when he signed for Manchester United and credits Jose Mourinho with helping to raise his profile.
The Argentine goalkeeper saw his stock rise again on Wednesday evening as his penalty save from Manolo Gabbiadini earned the Red Devils a point from a goalless draw at Southampton.
He has now kept 11 clean sheets in 17 appearances this season, with his displays marking him out as a reliable back-up to undisputed number one David de Gea.
His ability should never have been questioned, as he arrived at Old Trafford as an experienced international who has spent time in Holland, Italy and France, but he feels he was a relative unknown.
That is no longer the case, though, much of the delight of a man who will be gracing a major final next week when United take on Ajax in the Europa League.
Romero told reporters: “For me, the final is very important.
“I arrived here in the last year, free, nobody knew me.
“Now with the confidence that Jose gives me and the confidence the players give me and the confidence I have this is very important and I will try and do my best for all, for the team.
“The final will be special for the year, for the club. The most important is the club and the fans and we will go there in Stockholm to win.”
Only two of Romero’s appearances this season have come in the Premier League, with Mourinho using him mainly in cup competitions.