Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson seems to be excited at the prospect of taking on David De Gea to become the clubs number one goalkeeper, according to the agent of the player. The 23-year-old has been on loan for every season so far at United playing in the National League, League Two, League One, the Championship and the Premier League, rising up a league every season – spending the last two at Sheffield United, earning a promotion to the Premier League and almost reaching Europe.
His performances for the Blades earned him an England call-up and has seen him involved with the squad during the UEFA Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark, despite not playing any minutes of football in the two matches which saw England earn four points, beating Iceland 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with Denmark. Henderson was subject to lots of transfer speculation this summer, signing a new five-year contract at the club, with another year which could be added.
Henderson’s agent, David Lee, spoke to Sports Mole, regarding the player taking on De Gea, saying:
“I don’t think they’re offering him a five-year deal without thinking that he can.
“Obviously you’ve got a world-class goalkeeper as number one for Manchester United. He’s made a few mistakes, let’s be fair, but he’s still a top, top goalkeeper, still a world-class goalkeeper.
“Maybe Henderson coming in might make De Gea raise his game and there are two ways to look at it for Man United, but he’s got the potential to be Man United goalkeeper for sure.
“He’s another player who believes he should be playing for Man United right now, so it’s not going to faze him, he’ll just rise to that.
“There are some players that, when you think of them playing for a big club you worry about them – can they take that pressure every week? But Dean would have no problem with that, he’s a confident boy.
“He’s ready, he wants to push people. I’m sure they’re good friends in training and have a good working relationship but Dean will be focused on getting that number one spot that’s for sure and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it.”
During the 2019/20 season, Henderson made 40 appearances at the Blades, making 36 appearances in the Premier League, missing both matches against United as he was not eligible to play against how parent club. The 23-year-old conceded 37 goals, keeping 14 clean sheets – 13 of those in the Premier League. This showed his progress since leaving United, which he has done every season as he is yet to make is debut for the club, which might happen in the coming weeks with United set to face either Reading or Luton Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup.
De Gea has not been in the best of form over the past few years which has led to many speculation whether this was the end of the Spaniard’s time at the top in England. The 29-year-old made a total of 43 appearances for United in the 2019/20 season, conceding 44 goals and keeping 15 clean sheets – 13 of which were in the Premier League matching Henderson’s achievement in his debut season playing in England’s top flight. This challenge for the number one shirt could see both Henderson and De Gea raise their game with De Gea fighting to keep his place at the club.
Henderson will be subjected to much more scrutiny at United and every mistake made will be amplified by the media, which was not something that happened during his time at the Blades, so the England international will need to be ready for that. The fact that he is ready to challenge De Gea for the number one shirt at his age is enviable and he will face a fight to break into the first team regularly, taking the shot away from De Gea, which could follow with the decline of the Spaniard after nearly a decade at the Old Trafford club. It might not happen like that but it would be great for Henderson, and quite possibly England, if it did.
Written by John Walker