August 4, 2020
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