Dean Henderson could see his hopes of becoming the first choice goalkeeper at Manchester United next season quashed, as per reports.
The custodian, who is currently on loan at Sheffield United, had an impressive season for the Blades before the league was suspended, and many believed his form was good enough for him to earn a starting spot at Manchester United.
A report from the Daily Star claims that Henderson may have to wait to become the no. 1 ‘keeper at Manchester United as David De Gea is set to continue in goal next season. He could either play second fiddle to the Spaniard, or play on loan elsewhere.
Although De Gea is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world, his performances this season have at times left more to be desired. There have been instances where he has lost his focus and his errors have led to silly goals.
Manchester United have a conundrum on their plate as they now have two impressive ‘keepers to choose from. Henderson is still only 23, so we take a look if it is the right decision to let him play regularly elsewhere next season on loan.
The conundrum: Dean Henderson is impressive, but not ready for the no.1 spot
While he has impressed for the Blades this season, Henderson is still pretty young. Goalkeeper tends to peak late in their career, and although Henderson has shown that he is perfectly capable, there might be other issues which could potentially be debilitating.
Over the last few years, we’ve seen impressive young ‘keepers move to big sides in Premier League, and they have subsequently failed to make their opportunity count because of the pressures of playing for a top side.
A couple of examples are Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea and Loris Karius of Liverpool. Both were impressive young goalkeepers in their native Spain and Germany respectively, but could not muster the consistency needed at clubs expected to challenge for trophies.
Henderson has done well so far, but lest we forget it was only his first season in the top flight. The 23-year old needs to be judged on a larger sample size than just 30 odd games.
Competition for places at Manchester United is pretty intense, and De Gea is pretty much undroppable. It would take a series of howlers from the Spaniard for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to even consider the possibility of dropping him.
In terms of age, Henderson still has a long career ahead of him, so he could be a long-term replacement for the Spaniard. To do that, he will have to keep up his development, which will only happen if he plays regularly.
At Manchester United, featuring in Cup games is his best possibility next season, so it would be wise for him to develop further at a different Premier League club, if not Sheffield United.