Manchester United could recall Dean Henderson from his loan spell with Sheffield United, making him the number two goalkeeper at the club for the remainder of the season, according to reports. Henderson is coming to the end of his second season on loan with the Blades having been the stand out player in Chris Wilder’s team.
Henderson, 23, has played 30 times for the Blades this season, conceding 24 goals and keeping 11 clean sheets, playing in the Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup. His performances have put the Premier League side in with a chance of earning European football next season with the Blades being just two points adrift of United in the league.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently fifth in the league and in with a chance of earning UEFA Champions League football next season from that position with Manchester City’s ban from European competition – if it is upheld. With the season looking likely to be finished, Solskjaer’s side could push into the top four of the Premier League table.
The Blades still have to travel to the Theatre of Dreams this season, which could be their chance to finally get above United in the race for European competition next season, despite the fact that Henderson is not eligible to play against his parent club. The loan spell is currently due to expire on the 1 July and United could recall him then, in theory.
UEFA has asked European leagues to tell them whether they want to complete or cancel their seasons before the 25 May which means the season is unlikely to be completed before the 1 July. This could see Henderson return to United for the remainder of the season and be promoted to number two goalkeeper.
Henderson is unlikely to knock David De Gea out of the United team despite having more clean sheets in the Premier League, a better minutes per goal ratio and a better save percentage. He has also made fewer mistakes leading to goal – one compared to the Spaniard’s three so far this season. Henderson not playing for the Blades could be crucial.
United may not be the only club seeking to recall players, despite the Coronavirus pandemic literally stopping football in mid-March. Liverpool may do the same with Harry Wilson, who is currently on loan with Bournemouth for the remainder of the season – although he would probably not get much game time with the league leaders.
One thing that could stop all of this happening is a decision from the league regarding the expire of contracts and the fact that clubs could use similar situations to their advantage, in this case taking one of the top goalkeepers of the season away from a club that pose as a rival for United, in terms of qualifying for European football.
One thing is for sure, Henderson has a bright future ahead of him. He may like being the number one at Sheffield United, but his time at United will need to start sooner or later, or it could mean that the player moves on, which would be a shame. Installing his as number two at the club next season would be a good start to him earning his stripes at United.