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David de Gea and Dean Henderson – Summer 2021 plans?

The 2021 summer transfer window will be a crucial one for Manchester United for several reasons. One of the notable decisions to be made this summer is a decision regarding the goalkeeping situation. It was a strange decision to bring back Dean Henderson after his loan had expired at Sheffield United, as it was a rare case of two top goalkeepers being in the same squad at the same time. In the early parts of the season, the competition seemed to be helping Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, as his form improved drastically when compared to the two seasons prior.

As of April 2nd, long-time United servant David de Gea has only registered one error leading to a goal in the Premier League this season, an improvement on seven errors leading to goals in the 2018/19 and the 2019/20 seasons. A large section of the United fanbase has grown impatient with de Gea since the 2018 World Cup when he made notable errors on the big stage. Dean Henderson on the other hand has had a meteoric rise, displaying impressive performances in his two seasons at Bramall Lane, becoming a fan favourite for the Sheffield United faithful.

Henderson is a great shot-stopper, and a very confident character, believing he has what it takes to make it to the very top with both Manchester United and the England national team. Henderson has been utilized mostly as a second-choice goalkeeper this season, racking up appearances across the cup competitions. Recently, with the birth of David de Gea’s first child, Henderson has been given a run of games to fill in for the absent de Gea. During the run of games Henderson has been given, the outlook from the fanbase has been mostly positive, as his commanding character has been impressive when in goal.

Though he has been questioned at times, for example, AC Milan’s late equalizer at Old Trafford in the Europa League, and his overall performance against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals, where he was expected to do better on several instances. Despite his errors, which are only natural as he is a young goalkeeper, Henderson has produced outstanding performances in a United shirt, most notably in the 2-0 Manchester Derby win, and also in United’s 1-0 round of 16 triumph in the Europa League versus AC Milan, where he produced a world-class save from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header. 

At the moment, it is difficult to predict the future of Manchester United’s goalkeepers. As many fans do not believe in de Gea’s ability anymore, an option is to sell the Spaniard. This may be a strenuous option, as de Gea reportedly earns a wage in excess of 350 thousand pounds per week. With his evident decline and his monstrous wages, it is difficult to imagine a club coming in to sign him, and if United choose to do so, it will be a poor decision from an economic standpoint. A more sensible choice of action regarding this situation would be to sell Dean Henderson, with the inclusion of a buy-back clause in the deal.

This choice would benefit the club in many forms, mainly letting Henderson develop further, getting a good amount of game time, and being polished for the day that comes when de Gea inevitably leaves the club. David de Gea is far from finished at the top level and could provide another couple of years of solid goalkeeping at United, as evidence from the 2020-21 season suggests. Ultimately, it is United’s call on what to do with these fantastic goalkeepers, with many other unmentioned options that could either benefit the club or be a detriment to the club.

Written by Ashkan Shomeil

Blessed with two top Goalkeepers who should Manchester United go with next season? The master, David De Gea, or the apprentice, Dean Henderson?

Whilst the last few summers at Manchester United have been dominated by transfer speculation after transfer speculation after transfer speculation, the summer of 2020 had an interesting sub-plot. 

The return of Dean Henderson, on loan at Sheffield United last season, had many questioning whether David De Gea’s first team place was under serious threat, realistically, for the first time in his United career. After a few errors last season, there were a few murmurs that Sergio Romero should be given a chance. Whilst De Gea was struggling at Old Trafford, Dean Henderson was flourishing in his first Premier League season. After helping Sheffield United to promotion the season earlier, a second season on loan was agreed and it could arguably be seen as one of the transfers of the season. 

Sheffield United shocked everyone, finishing ninth and earning plaudits from everyone. Henderson himself, would earn his first England cap off the back of 13 clean sheets for the newly promoted side. As the season drew to a close, the obvious question arose. Who would be United’s number in the next season? Would it be Henderson or De Gea? As we have seen, so far it has been De Gea. United manager, Ole Gunner Solskjaer, has huge trust in his number one. He stood by him last season and De Gea hasn’t really let him down this season. Henderson has played a few cup games and the odd league game, but as we enter 2021, should Henderson be number one next season?

It is hard to use this season’s performances when Henderson has made far fewer appearances. In the games he has played he’s done what he’s needed to bar one big error. Ironically, it was against his former side, Sheffield United. Dallying on the ball, he was robbed of the ball in his own six-yard box costing his side the opening goal, however United would go onto win the game. He would play in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City as well as the most recent FA Cup win against Watford.

He also made his Champions League debut in the shocking 2-1 defeat in Istanbul. It is odd to think that whilst defeat in that game would be a catalyst for United exiting the competition, it will probably lead to more game time for Henderson, via the Europa League. Last season, Romero played most of the Europe League games and it would be a surprise if Henderson wasn’t given those game too, but as alluded too earlier you can’t really compare De Gea and Henderson based on this season.

So, what can we judge them on? As Henderson has only played one full season in the Premier League, last season would be a good place. Both goalkeepers managed 13 clean sheets each, although Henderson (33), conceded three less than De Gea. Expected goals conceded stats also show in Henderson’s favour. He conceded 5.2 goals less than he should have, De Gea only 2.2. The same stats show that Henderson was better at defending crosses then his teammate and that he made more passes then the Spaniard, showing that he is more comfortable playing out from the back. United, especially this season, have shown weaknesses defending crosses and the stats show that Henderson might be better dealing with them. Of course, not all crosses are defended by the goalkeeper, but that added protection is never a bad thing. 

What can’t be looked past is the position that Sheffield United now find themselves. Since losing Henderson, the Blades have nose-dived. Bottom of the table. Just two points in 17 games. 29 goals conceded. That’s just four goals less then Henderson conceded in 36 games last season. Of course, other issues have to be taken into consideration. They’ve only scored 8. They lost Jack Egan and have suffered plenty of other injuries throughout the season. John Lundstrum refusing to sign a new contract won’t have helped either, but losing Henderson was a huge blow.

Of course, if you’re judging Henderson’s impact since he’s left, you have to judge De Gea since Henderson has come in. United are sitting second in the league, level on points with Liverpool, with a game in hand. If Henderson has directly affected Sheffield United’s fortunes, then should we be looking at De Gea’s improved performances the same? Possibly, of course United’s good form began when Bruno Fernandes arrived last January, and it has continued since. De Gea has only kept four clean sheets in 14 games, so it’s hard to put the good form down to just his performances. 

Realistically, it’s going to be hard for Henderson to usurp De Gea for the number one jersey. As we entered this season, many believed that De Gea was a couple of big mistakes away from losing his place. We haven’t seen said mistakes. That is probably because Henderson is keeping him on his toes. United will have been delighted to have tied Henderson down on a long-term contract. It means they have time. It would be a surprise that he was still number two by the time that came to an end.

Most believe that Henderson is the future, however, he may have to be patient with cup games for the time being. It’s hard to drop your number one for the last ten years when you’re sitting joint top with a game in hand. However, the stats show that when Henderson does get his chance over a period of games, he’s unlikely to let anyone down. 

Written by Huw Rawlings

Dean Henderson will do whatever it takes to be Manchester United number one

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

Rio Ferdinand gives opinion on David De Gea’s future after Dean Henderson’s return

Former Manchester United central defender Rio Ferdinand has backed David de Gea to rediscover his form at the Old Trafford club. Over the past year or so, there has been plenty of criticism of the Spanish number one with the player making a number of bad errors which has cost United dearly. With Dean Henderson coming back to the club this summer, having spent two seasons on loan at Sheffield United, a club where he helped win promotion to the Premier League and have a good debut season in the top flight of English football, has not helped De Gea’s case.

Ferdinand played alongside De Gea from 2011, when the player signed from Atletico Madrid, until he left United in the summer of 2014 for Queens Park Rangers before retiring at the end of the 2014/15 season, feels confident that De Gea can find his feet and regain his form once again. De Gea was once the player that kept United together post-Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award in four seasons out of five, which shows you how good the player can be. Speaking to TeamTALK and reported by The Mirror, Ferdinand said:

“De Gea has the ability to get back to where he was. He’s shown over the years that he is a class act. He can now have a break for a few weeks and come back with his focus renewed.

“He has the mentality to come back and reach his levels again. We’ve seen time and again how good he can be. I think he can still be a big player for United, but he has a point to prove again now. He has had tough times before and has come back.

“He’s a great goalkeeper and over the years he has been fantastic for United. He was player of the year four out of six years or whatever it was. But if you are not producing the goods over an extended period of time you have to be told and there has to be someone waiting in the wings to come in.”

Henderson’s return to Old Trafford in certain to cause a few headaches with the player having no intention of playing second fiddle to De Gea at the Theatre of Dreams but probably understanding that he will need to take on the Spaniard to win the number one shirt at the club, not just demand it and get what he wants. I don’t think Henderson is like that though and a lot of the speculation regarding the player seems to be based from what the media publish, which is not always fact, just mere speculation which might actually mean nothing.

The 23-year-old has been linked to Chelsea but is reportedly close to signing a new contract at United. During the past week, it has been suggested that Henderson would be loaned out this coming season, and that he would remain at United. It has also been stated that Sergio Romero has been linked to a number of clubs, including Chelsea and Leeds United, so there is clearly something happening somewhere at the club, which could pave the way for Henderson to take on De Gea this season in the battle to become the clubs next first choice goalkeeper.

It could certainly be an interesting season at United, especially with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggesting that he does not need three goalkeepers at the club, which would become four with Henderson returning this summer, meaning that two goalkeepers will be surplus to requirements with them likely to be both Romero and Lee Grant. United went through a period whereby they did not have a great goalkeeper from the time that Peter Schmeichel left the club after helping the club win the treble to the arrival of Edwin van der Sar, with De Gea replacing the latter at the club. If both De Gea and Henderson could work together and share the position, Henderson could be set up for the future at the club, with United and Solskjaer having De Gea to fall back on should Henderson falter at any stage.

Written by John Walker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticks by David De Gea with Dean Henderson being loaned out

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly decided that Dean Henderson, 23, will be loaned out from the club for the 2020/21 season instead of being brought into the first team squad to take on David De Gea, who will keep his position as the number one goalkeeper at the club. Some might look at this and see that Solskjaer and United could be making a massive mistake as De Gea has not been at the top of his game for quite a while, which could be more of a problem moving forward.

However, similar could be said regarding Henderson, who has not yet slyer for United’s first team and has spent time on loan over the past five seasons, rising a league level each time and spending the last two seasons on loan with Sheffield United, winning promotion from the Championship and excelling in his first season in the Premier League. That does not mean that the player will end up being a success at United as he would be put under the microscope even more by the media and pundits.

Solskjaer will need to ensure that he has made the right decision and it might result in Henderson rejecting a new contract at the club. During the 2019/20 season, Henderson made a total of 40 appearances for the Blades, playing 36 times in the Premier League and four more times in the Emirates FA Cup. He conceded 37 goals; 33 in the Premier League and the remainder in the FA Cup, also keeping 14 clean sheets, 13 of which were in the Premier League. It was an impressive season from the rookie goalkeeper.

The Mirror has reported that Solskjaer wants to give De Gea another chance to find his form at the club, as looking back during his time at United, especially in the first five seasons after Sir Alex Ferguson retired, De Gea has been a player that has kept United moving at times, which is also why he has won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year four times in five seasons; winning three of them in a row. Sergio Romero will continue to be the second choice goalkeeper at the club.

De Gea made a total of 43 appearances for United this season, playing all 38 Premier League matches plus one in the FA Cup, two in the Carabao Cup and two in the UEFA Europa League. He conceded 44 goals in total, 36 in the Premier League (conceding 54 in the league the previous season) with three conceded in each of the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, conceding twice in the Europa League. De Gea also kept 15 clean sheets; 13 in the league and one in each of the Europa League and the Carabao Cup.

Henderson has been linked with Chelsea this summer with Frank Lampard’s side looking to purchase the player. This caused rumours that the 23-year-old would demand to be the number one goalkeeper at United for the 2020/21 season or he would leave the club. However, his current contract does not expire until the summer of 2022, meaning United will retain him for two more years. If a contract extension is not reached this summer, it might well see him not end up playing for United at all, which would be a shame.

Written by John Walker

David De Gea defends his position at Manchester United

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has defended his position at the Old Trafford club after a season which has seen him make a number of high-profile mistakes, costing United at times. The 29-year-old has come under pressure this season, especially after his calamitous performance against Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final, the second of three semi-finals in cup competitions this season that United lost in. On Sunday, De Gea replaced Sergio Romero against Sevilla.

The Argentinian goalkeeper has played in the last two UEFA Europa League matches at this stage of the season with United looking to win their first trophy under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A 2-1 defeat stopped that from happening, meaning that Sevilla set up a final against Inter Milan after the Italian side beat Shakhtar Donekst 5-0 in the other semi-final in the competition. Speaking after United’s defeat to Sevilla on Sunday evening, De Gea was quoted by The Sun as saying:

“I trust in myself. I have shown my qualities all the years. So I will just stay available for the manager.

“I’m always ready to play and try to help the team, as I have always done.”

Dean Henderson, 23, has been tipped to replace De Gea at United this summer after his performances for Sheffield United whilst on loan at the club over the past two seasons, playing in the Champions and winning promotion to the Premier League, helping the side remain in the top flight of English football. Henderson wants assurances from Solskjaer over his future at the club or he will leave, whether on loan or permanently, which has been reported recently.

United may look back and see a poor season but despite the fact that it has not been brilliant, there are many positives to see at the club. There are critics for Solskjaer on social media, but with not of those critics having any experience or achievement in football, the criticism is agenda based which shows the pathetic nature of modern football so-called supporters. Continuing to speak about United’s result against Sevilla, De Gea was quoted as saying:

“We deserve to be in the final, if we are honest. But maybe we need a bit of experience, more experience on the team, but we have to score the chances. That was the point for us.”

Whilst there was improvement by United this season, conceding 54 goals in the Premier League during the 2018/19 season and finishing sixth, then last summer, signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, to conceding just 36 goals and finishing third in the 2019/20 season. Of course, most of these so-called fans that demand better will not see the improvement, instead will look at the points total, which was 66 points in both seasons. However, the difference is clear to see, for those with common sense anyway.

United also came from 14 points behind Leicester to finish four points clear of them this season with Solskjaer even topping Frank Lampard, who has continually been praised by the English media having a much poorer record that United despite both teams being in a period of rebuilding. United’s record against the top six in the Premier League improved with the club doing the double over Manchester City, Chelsea and Leicester, winning once and drawing once with Tottenham Hotspur and drawing and losing against Liverpool, earning 23 points from a possible 30. Talking about the clubs improvement, De Gea said:

“I think we improved this season. We were 14 points behind the third position in the Premier League and we finished third at the end.

“I think we are playing very good football, attacking football.

“Let’s keep improving, let’s keep fighting for this club and let’s try to win trophies next season.”

Written by John Walker

David De Gea’s Manchester United future cast doubt upon by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he will need to make a difficult decision in order to choose who to make his first choice goalkeeper next season. David De Gea has endured a turbulent season with some mistakes costing United dearly, especially against Chelsea in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup only a matter of weeks ago. This poor form has caused lost of speculation which has seen Dean Henderson aim to take De Gea’s shirt in the not too distant future.

United number two, Sergio Romero is a great quality goalkeeper and has played in eight of the ten matches played in the UEFA Europa League this season and looks set to be trusted in goal against FC Copenhagen in the quarter-finals of the competition, which will be played on Cologne on Monday evening. Dean Henderson is another top quality goalkeeper who has done well in his first season in the Premier League whilst he was on loan with Sheffield United.

De Gea has been a great goalkeeper for much of his time at United, which is almost a decade. He literally became the player that kept United together during the turbulent time which saw United managed by David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, being named as the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year four times in five seasons; 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2017/18. Ander Herrera (2016/17) and Luke Shaw (2018/19) won the award during the other two seasons.

So far this season, De Gea has played in the Premier League, starting all 38 matches, also playing twice in the Carabao Cup and once in each of the Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. The Spaniard has kept a total of 15 clean sheets, conceding 43 goals. Romero has played eight times in the Europa League (so far), five times in the FA Cup and three times in the Carabao Cup, keeping 11 clean sheets and conceding five goals. Solskjaer feels that having three decent goalkeepers is a good problem to have with The Mirror reporting:

“I think I must be the most privileged manager in the world with the goalkeeping department.

“Sergio [Romero], David [De Gea] and Dean [Henderson]. Three top ‘keepers. This season has shown how important Sergio has been for us. David has been performing there.

“We’ll see what we’ll do going forward. Difficult? Yes. But that’s a good problem to have.”

Henderson, playing for Sheffield United, made 36 appearances in the Premier League with four more in the FA Cup. He kept a total of 14 clean sheets, conceding 37 goals in total. Solskjaer feels that it would be near enough impossible to satisfy all three goalkeepers next season with all of them craving minutes for United plus to add to that, Lee Grant is also in contention, in his final season at the club. Concluding his comments about the goalkeeper situation, Solskjaer talked about competition for places, which is something he is looking to have, saying:

“I think as you say, competition for places is important and we’re looking to have competition for places.

“We have Dean, Sergio and David at the moment in the ranks. Lee [Grant], the fantastic professional he is, is backing them up. But it’ll be difficult obviously to keep three of them at the club, so we’ll see what the decision will be there.”

It could be a battle for the number on shirt at United this summer and depending on what happens with Henderson, the likes of De Gea and Romero will be vying for the honour to lead United as the number one goalkeeper. If this speculation helps De Gea find his form once again, great. If not, then United will be in good hands as they look to start again with a rookie goalkeeper in the ranks, if Henderson ends up staying at the club with Sheffield United seemingly wanting him at the club for another season and Chelsea also holding interest in the player.

Written by John Walker

Solskjaer keeps pressure off De Gea, Ferdinand slams him, Scholes defends him

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that he will not put any more pressure on goalkeeper David De Gea as he will not be talking about his performance against Chelsea which saw the London club score twice with goals that the Spanish goalkeeper should have saved quite easily. Solskjaer has leapt in to defend the goalkeeper in the past but bluntly refused to discuss the topic in his press conference ahead of the penultimate Premier League match of the season.

United will take on West Ham United at the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday evening with a view on putting his side in the top three of the league with a victory over David Moyes’ side. Solskjaer will be protective of his goalkeeper and will know that his mistakes against Chelsea will be the main talking point ahead of the next match, which will either result in the player being dropped from the team or being backed by the manager and his teammates, keeping his place in the team. The Sun quoted Solskjaer as saying:

“This is not going to become a David De Gea press conference. We’re just going to stick together.

“David’s mentally strong enough to know his job is to perform in training the next day and be ready for the games.

“We’re not going to talk about individuals. No one here wants to feel we are putting more pressure on them.”

Former teammate of De Gea, Rio Ferdinand has slammed the goalkeeper for his current form stating that he was not in a position to be defended. Granted, Ferdinand played in the same team as De Gea for a number of years so will have knowledge of how the player is when he has made a mistake. There is no hiding place for the player and he will know that too. Ferdinand, speaking to BT Sport about the goalkeeper and reported by The Mirror, said:

“When people make mistakes, they’re open to criticism. That’s just natural, that is just how football is,

“David De Gea is no exception. He’s made mistakes, glaring mistakes in some big games, notably the game against Chelsea in the semi-final at Wembley.

“Yes, he should be doing better. I have played with David, he’s his own biggest critic.

“He’ll be sitting at home mulling over these, going through the situations and making sure that he tries to get rid of these mistakes that he is committing at the moment.”

Another former United player, Paul Ince has given advice to Solskjaer about how to deal with the goalkeeper who is complacent. It seems funny that Ince is giving others advice on how to manage players, when in actual fact, his management history has been poor at best. Ince managed Macclesfield Town, MK Dons (twice), Blackburn Rovers, Notts County and Blackpool and did nothing but fail at each club. It is strange that this guy, who shows embitterment to United, feels he’s qualified to even have an opinion. Anyway, speaking to Paddy Power via The Mirror, Ince said:

“David [De Gea] knows he should have saved the second goal, but that’s done now. I can’t speak for David’s confidence, but he’s mentally very strong. He knows he should save that one 100 times out of 100, but that’s football for you.

“Any mistake you make, as a goalkeeper, will always be magnified. We know that, but what we’re seeing from David de Gea at the minute are basic, schoolboy errors. They are errors that someone on his wage and at his level simply should not be making – and not for the first time, too.

“If you go and look at the season, there’s several absolutely horrendous mistakes that just shouldn’t be happening. When you make mistakes like that, you have to come out in the next couple of games and stand up and be counted – to nullify that criticism – but it seems like he isn’t capable of doing that at the moment.

“You need to prove you’re the No.1 goalkeeper. He made a couple of decent saves against Chelsea, but the fact is, in big games you expect that. In those big games, the best keepers in the world aren’t making mistakes to begin with.

“My feeling is that De Gea doesn’t have enough, or any, competition. He is totally complacent. Sergio Romero only plays once in a blue moon, but Dean Henderson is waiting in the wings, and the manager needs to create a bit of a challenge and competition at the club.

“Right now, De Gea knows there’s no challenger to him, that he will be the first name on the team sheet, and he’s playing like someone who knows that, too. As a player, if you think you’re going to play every game, it leads to complacency.”

Paul Scholes, another former teammate of De Gea has done what you would expect from him and back the player. Scholes played alongside the Spanish goalkeeper for the final years of his career at the club, even coming out of retirement to play some more football. De Gea will be happy to see some players in his corner, past and present. It will mean a lot to him. The mistakes happened and there is no taking them away. Ot is now embellished in the club’s history. Reported by The Mirror, the United legend said:

“Yep, he’s having a bad time. But without him United wouldn’t have finished in the top 10 the last 6 years…he’ll be back!”

Finally, Solskjaer has refused to confirm whether the player, 29, will start against West Ham in the final Premier League match of the season at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. It would not surprise me to see De Gea starting against the Hammers but it would be a gamble that would bring criticism to the doorstep of Solskjaer if it did not pay off. Just the same would be if the player was dropped for Sergio Romero and that did not pay off, so either way you look at it, Solskjaer will not be able to win with the media. Reported by the Manchester Evening News, the United manager said:

“No, because I don’t want to talk about it. We stick together as a group. Of course we’re going to stick together as a group and as I said he’s proven before he’s mentally strong. We’ll stay together and we’ll see the team on Wednesday night.

“You have to [make big calls]. Every position is a big one here so you’ve got to do what is right for the team and the club. We’ll do that on Wednesday, we’ll do that on Sunday and then when the season’s finished we’ll make more decisions.

“Everything we talk about is between ourselves. We keep that relationship open and every player can trust me to keep that confidential.”

United have it all to play for on Wednesday evening. With Leicester City being beaten by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and the fact that the two teams have the same amount of points and the goal difference is the same, although Leicester have scored 67 goals to United’s 63, it gives United the opportunity to get one over Brendan Rodger’s side before Sunday’s showdown ta the King Power Stadium. With a victory over the Hammers, United could go third in the league with Chelsea facing Liverpool, at Anfield. This is Solskjaer and United’s chance to get one over both teams ahead of them.

Written by John Walker

Chelsea stall over Dean Henderson interest; Blades sign replacement

Chelsea are interested in signing Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson this summer after his performances for the past two seasons on loan at Sheffield United. However, their interest in the goalkeeper has stalled according to The Sun. Sheffield United have recently confirmed the signing of Wes Foderingham who could be the replacement for Henderson next season in case the club do not get the opportunity to lengthen Henderson’s stay at the club.

However, Blades manager Chris Wilder has confirmed talks with United ahead of another season of Henderson at the club on loan, which would be great for the player. This season, Henderson has made a total of 38 appearances for the Blades, conceding 33 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets – 13 of those in the Premier League alone. The Express has reported that despite signing Foderingham, the Blades hold hope of keeping Henderson for another season.

Henderson has been linked to Frank Lampard’s side, who are seeking a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has seemingly lost form this season. The Spanish international lost his place with Willy Caballero starting in the 3-1 victory over United in the semi-final of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday evening. However unlikely it may be that United sign a valuable goalkeeper to Chelsea the 23-year-old has suggested that he will not return to United unless he is the number one goalkeeper.

David De Gea, the current United number one, signed a new bumper contract at United last year and despite his shaky form, it does not look like he will be going anywhere. He was once the brunt of interest from the likes of Real Madrid nd Paris Saint-Germain but recently, that interest has subsided with United having full control over the future of the player. Now De Gea was terrible against Chelsea at Wembley and will need to upscale his level of performance substantially.

Blades manager Wilder was recently asked by the media whether Henderson will continue playing for his club into next season and The Sun reported the manager as saying:

“We have had initial conversations. Of course, we would be open to Dean [Henderson] coming back.

“He’s Manchester United’s player so they will make that decision with what is best for themselves, in conjunction with Dean.

“And obviously from our point of view, if there is an opportunity, we would love to take that up.”

Whatever happens, if United let Henderson leave the club on loan for the entirety of the 2020/21 season, they will need to offer the player a new long-term contract and he will be seeking a guarantee of the number one jersey at the club or he will not sign anything. You can see where he will be coming from. He has seen De Gea make some pretty amateurish mistakes whilst playing for the biggest football club in the world. United must see that Henderson is a goalkeeper for the future and one that could adapt and, as Solskjaer has put it, be the number one for both club and country.

Written by John Walker

David De Gea could remain at Manchester United for another ten years according to Peter Schmeichel

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has backed current United number one, David De Gea to play on at the Old Trafford club for another decade. On Monday in the Premier League, the Spanish goalkeeper made his 400th appearance for United, beating Schmeichel’s record by two appearances, still 139 appearances behind Alex Stepney.

United signed De Gea from Atletico Madrid back in the summer of 2011 after Edwin van der Sar left the club after six years, leaving a void which De Gea soon started to fill. In recent years though, his form has not been the best which has seen him prone to some mistakes but in recent matches, despite a few errors, he has improved, although those reading this will be irate at errors made against Southampton.

De Gea will no doubt be challenged by Dean Henderson, who is currently close to the end of his second season on loan at Sheffield United, helping them win promotion from the Championship last season and push to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, currently seeing them in seventh place and on the cusp of securing European football.

Schmeichel reckons that De Gea’s appetitive for silverware continues to drive him on with United not winning anything since their UEFA Europa League trophy at the end of the 2016/17 season. This season, with the league already won by Liverpool, United have a chance to lift the Emirates FA Cup and the Europa League once again. Speaking to the United Review, Schmeichel said:

“There have been trophies over the last nine years and David will want more of those before he’s done.

“He would far rather pick up a few more winner’s medals than Player of the Year trophies, I’m certain.

“David’s young and could play on here for another 10 years.”

De Gea has kept 11 clean sheets in the Premier League so far the season and is currently trailing the best goalkeeper in the league, Burnley’s Nick Pope by three clean sheets. United will be seeking to improve that before the end of the season with their sights well on a place in the UEFA Champions League next season, which will mean they need to finish in the top four of the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels that De Gea needs more trophies on his CV, saying:

“I don’t think he will be happy until he wins the bigger trophies. Yes, he’s won personal awards but David is not the type to care about that. I think he wants the team to lift big as well.

“Staying at Manchester United for this amount of time and not having won more is something he will feel is a black dot in his career.”

copyright: JW