Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed goalkeeper Dean Henderson to become the number one goalkeeper for both Manchester United and England. Henderson has been allowed to remain at Sheffield United for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, despite the delay and the fact that the Blades will be challenging United.
United are fifth in the Premier League with the Blades in sixth place, so the chase for UEFA Champions League football is very much on with United needing to step out of the traps running when they face Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening in London. The 23-year-old will have spent two season in Sheffield at the end of this season.
Henderson has flourished at every stage of his career, being loaned out to Stockport County, Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town and not at Sheffield United, rising from the conference to the Premier League in four seasons, playing well in his first season in the top-flight; keeping ten Premier League clean sheets, conceding just 22 goals this season.
Henderson was called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad back in October and was expected to contend with Jordan Pickford ahead of the European Championships this summer, which were postponed until next summer. The player was also linked to Chelsea, something that Solskjaer quashed at the time. Speaking about Henderson, Solskjaer said:
“For me it doesn’t matter when the season ends. The Sheffield United team this season has consisted of Dean in goal so he should be allowed to complete it.
“It’s not been decided in terms of where Dean is going to be next season.
“This season has proved a great experience for him, he’s done himself some favours with his performances, and proved he will be England’s No1 and Manchester United’s No1 at some point.
“It’s not my job to keep the players happy or in the team or out of it. Part of it is their responsibility of performing and doing well.
“Dean has made some great choices over the years and developed fantastically – and still is.”
This could go two ways for Solskjaer and United; it could bring out the best of David De Gea, who has been struggling for form this season and has made some pretty amateur mistakes or it could ruin his confidence and lead Henderson into the squad next season, fighting De Gea for a place in the team. Solskjaer knows what he is doing.