Ben Foster has hailed Davi De Gea as the “Messi of goalkeeping” after the Manchester United number one denied Watford a share of the spoils on Saturday.

Watford looked to have snatched a point at Vicarage Road when Christian Kabasele got on the end of Will Hughes’ free-kick, but De Gea proved equal to the effort as he made a flying save to preserve his side’s 2-1 lead.

It was one of a number of smart stops made by the Spaniard throughout the match, with a one-handed effort to deny Troy Deeney in the first half being particularly impressive.

For Foster, De Gea’s quality is a natural gift and there are few in the world who can match the United keeper.

“He’s the Messi of goalkeeping,” Foster told to Independent. “He’s the most natural goalie you will ever see. From what I hear, he’s not a great trainer. Training doesn’t do it for him. But 3pm, the adrenaline rush: that’s what turns him on.

“That is something you really can’t teach. He’s got the game management, the nous of what to do at any given time.”

De Gea’s impressive showing at Vicarage Road came on the back of an international break where he appeared to get over the hangover of a poor World Cup and perform well for Spain.

Foster has long-been an admirer of the former Atletico Madrid man and reflects on a save made in the Champions League against Sevilla last term when discussing De Gea’s ability.

“Most goalies would just close their eyes and hope for the best,” Foster said. “He just watched it all the way, kept his eyes on the ball, saved it, and just got up like it was nothing.

“That’s the difference: being able to do stuff like that under pressure. Five yards out? Most goalies would have no chance.”