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Can Dean Henderson become Manchester United’s Number One and replace David De Gea?

Manchester United v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Semi Final
Manchester United v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Semi Final
Liam Canning
Modified 23 Feb 2021

One of the main talking points surround Manchester United’s squad has been the position of David De Gea in the starting 11, with Dean Henderson knocking on the door and edging ever so closer.

Henderson, who has done his loan stints at Stockport County, Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United (both in the Championship and Premier League), is on the verge of displacing the Spaniard as Manchester United’s number one.

At 23, Henderson is vastly experienced for a goalkeeper who do not normally come into their prime years until their late twenties. Having experienced the multitude of different playing styles in the English Football League system, Henderson can apply what is needed in the Premier League for the Red Devils.

In the Blades’ debut season in the Premier League, Henderson was a routine Man of the Match winner having consistently done his part in making sure they were kept in the game.

It is obvious as to why Henderson is impatient about securing the number one spot, which is only healthy to get the best out of the goalkeepers at the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has so far used Henderson intermittently, appearing mostly in the EFL and FA Cup matches for Manchester United.

Manchester United shotstopper David De Gea has not been in top form since 2018

De Gea, who has a contract until 2023 with an option of a further year, is on around £350,000 per week at Manchester United. An exorbitant amount that was given to him in 2019 after a number of unbelievable seasons for the club. Throughout the ‘dark periods’ since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, De Gea was the standout player on a weekly basis.

However, since the 2018 World Cup, De Gea’s form has certainly taken a hit – as well as his confidence. The Spain international does not have the same sturdiness that most have seen in him over the past decade.


At 30, which is by no means old in a goalkeeper’s career, there are some who question whether De Gea has peaked already with his best years behind him. There is no doubt that the Spaniard still has standout performances, but there appears to be a mistake-in-waiting with some of his matches.

It is reported that Solskjaer is open to letting either De Gea or Henderson leave in the summer, but it is unknown as to whether that will be a loan for either of them or on a permanent basis.

But it would be remiss of Manchester United to sell Henderson given the potential the England international possesses and his long-term future in the game. He has shown, in his minimal game time this season, that he can play with his feet and remain calm and composed in the bigger moments.

Henderson has kept seven clean sheets this season in 12 appearances and conceded nine in the other five matches. Overall, the Englishman has shown promise and the ability to guide his defence into clean sheets and stable performances.

Manchester United have a big decision to make this summer with the direction of their goalkeeping unit.

Also read: 5 Players Who Could Replace Paul Pogba At Manchester United

Published 23 Feb 2021, 10:21 IST
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