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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

Manchester United offer 23-year-old goalkeeper £100,000 per week contract

Manchester United are suggested to be ready to start the battle fettle number one shirt at the Old Trafford club, say ‘exclusive’ reports by The Sun. However, earlier on Tuesday, the same newspaper reported that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had made a decision to allow Dean Henderson leave the club on loan for the 2020/21 season. Not it is suggested that the club will be rewarding the 23-year-old with a new £100,000 per week contract and allow him to battle for the number one shirt next season.

It was suggested that Solskjaer would give David De Gea another chance to keep hims place as the number one goalkeeper at the club, however, it might seem that his chance could be a full on battle with the rookie goalkeeper who has spent the last two seasons at Sheffield United and is not full of confidence and ready for the challenge. It is suggested that his new contract will be a four-year contract but it does not suggest whether it is four straight years or a four-year extension to his current contract.

Henderson is contracted by the Old Trafford club until the summer of 2022, so if the four-year contract is to be added to the current contract, it would see him remain as a United player until the summer of 2026 which could give the player more confidence. However it could just be that the current contract is overwritten with this new contract, meaning the player will remain at the club for two more years compared to his last contract. It could be good news for United if this is report is true.

It would mean that United would have four experienced goalkeepers at the club next season with De Gea, Henderson, Sergio Romero and Lee Grant. During the last two seasons, Henderson has been on loan with Sheffield United, helping the club win promotion to the Premier League from the Championship and keeping their position as a top flight club this season but the club seem to have been getting ready for a future without Henderson being part of their squad.

It was suggested that Solskjaer would allow Henderson to spend the 2020/21 season away from United on loan but that, providing he did not sign a new contract, could give the player the feeling that he was not wanted at United. It will be a big decision to let the player take over from De Gea at the club, but he needs to be allowed to show his competitive streak which might bring out the best of both De Gea and Henderson and even raise the var for Romero too. I don’t think Grant will play much football with United and in all honesty, I don’t think he expected to either.

Chelsea have been linked to Henderson this summer but it would seem that United would not sell ampler who could become the number one goalkeeper for both club and country in the near future, to a club looking to strengthen so they can assemble a squad capable of winning the Premier League and return to the pinnacle of football by lifting the UEFA Champions League, which is the same things that United will be seeking to do under Solskjaer. Henderson’s future should be at United and he should be given the chance to shine at the club – it might all work out well after all.

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

Dean Henderson tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make him number one or sell him

Manchester United academy goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has been on loan with Sheffield United for the past two season, rising from the Championship and playing well in his first season in the Premier League has reportedly told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to either make him the number one goalkeeper at the club or sell him. The 23-year-old is a good talent but doubts still remain in his ability to become the first choice goalkeeper at the club, possibly done to the pressure rather than ability.

The Sun has reported that the goalkeeper does not want to return to the Old Trafford club this summer to play second fiddle to David De Gea at the club with the Spaniard making some high profile errors which had cost United during the past season and beyond. It is either something that will get better or worse and United will not want to make too hasty a decision. Henderson is the heir to De Gea in terms of becoming the number one goalkeeper at the Theatre of Dreams.

However, this is not something that will happen on his terms. In my mind, if you have done well at another club, which is what Henderson has done on each load spell from Stockport County to Grimsby Town, to Shrewsbury Town to the Blades, the player has risen in stature at each club, rising a division with each spell before reaching the Championship and ultimately the Premier League with the same club. This shows that he has what it takes to succeed.

That said, the player surely cannot expect Solskjaer to permanently drop De Gea, something he did not do after high profile errors which cost the club, and certainly to something that he will do after being told by a 23-year-old to do it. I mean no disrespect there but Henderson is not the manager of the club. What he should be doing is coming back to United as the number two goalkeeper, if Sergio Romero wants to leave the club, them aiming to prove himself at United, rather that being handed the permanent position.

I believe that this will show his drive and determination more, chasing down De Gea to earn the number one shirt himself, which would surely mean more to the player, rather than demanding something and being handed it on a plate. Where is the lesson there. If Solskjaer did this, he would not have the authority to drop the player when he made errors, as they will come, eventually, which would see the manager in a position whereby he has been trumped by a player, weakening his own position.

De Gea signed a new contract last year which sees him as one of the high earners left at the club, leaving Solskjaer in a position whereby his second-choice goalkeeper could be earning more than the number one, which will not be a good position to be in. Chelsea have been known to hold interest in Henderson, seeking a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, which has been in poor form this season too, similar to De Gea. It is a choice that Solskjaer will find tough, especially if Henderson is sold and does well at another club. However, if he drops De Gea and Henderson falters big time, he will suffer too. He can’t win either way.

Written by John Walker

Dean Henderson stalling on Manchester United extension with Chelsea lurking

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with Sheffield United, winning promotion from the Championship into the Premier League and doing well in his first season in England’s top flight, is reportedly stalling on a new contract at the Old Trafford club with Chelsea seemingly lurking in the background after stating their interested in the 23-year-old this summer. The Mirror has claimed that Frank Lampard’s side be ready to move for the player rated at £55 million this summer (who came up with that price I do not know).

Henderson has a contract with United which runs until the summer of 2022 so they have a favourable position in terms of the future of the player. However, if they end up loaning the player out for another season, he would have one year remaining and United would not want to make him the number one at the club only for him to walk away a year later. This summer, they will need to offer him better terms to get him to commit, no matter what happens this summer.

It has been suggested that the player could be loaned to Sheffield United for another season and the clubs manager, Chris Wilder seems confident of that happening. However, Chelsea’s interested in the player could change that, especially if United do not end up securing the player to a new contract, selling him this summer instead, which could be a massive mistake. The player is likely to be the heir to David De Gea at the club but there are mixed feeling as to whether the 23-year-old is ready for that role at this time.

Obviously, the player will need to make the leap into the first team at some stage. With reports of Sergio Romero being linked to Leeds United, who has won promotion back to the Premier League after 16 years out of the English top flight, there is a possibility that the player could be given a chance to stake his claim to the number one position at the club next season, which he might be happy with although there will be no guarantee that he will player week in and week out.

At Sheffield, he will play as the number one, despite the club making a goalkeeper signing this summer already, only missing matches against United, unless he is injured. Obviously, this would be better for his development but so would challenging for the number one shirt at United. Over the past season, Henderson has made a total of 40 appearances for the Blades, conceding 37 goals and keeping 14 clean sheets in all competitions. The player will obviously want to be assured that he will step into De Gea’s boots at United but with the player seemingly undroppable, despite questionable form this season, it is not something that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be able to guarantee.

The player will probably try his luck and might even use Chelsea’s interest in him to secure a better deal at United, then go out on loan again next season, re-evaluating his position next summer after signing a new contract at United this summer. However, that would be the ideal situation and football does not always give you that. We could see the player reject a new deal, either move to Chelsea permanently or go out on loan and sort his future out next summer. We shall see what happens.

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW