Can Dean Henderson Realistically Challenge David De Gea Next Season?

It has been an excellent start to the season for Dean Henderson. There was little doubt in the minds of most United fans that he would catch the eye for Sheffield United this season, and ahead of the upcoming clash with the Blades, we ask whether he could become the new number one choice at Old Trafford next season.

Excellent Record

Many people expected the Blades to struggle this season, but in reality, they haven’t looked in any danger. It is of course still very early days in the season, but Henderson has had a profound impact on the success the club has achieved. Unfortunately for the Sheffield club, Henderson will be unavailable to play against United due to being on-loan.

Sheffield United boasts the second-best defensive record in the Premier League and are riding high in fifth place – two places above the Red Devils. Henderson has had a big impact on their start to the season and has made a string of excellent saves in big wins against Arsenal and Burnley. If he can match that form at Old Trafford next season, then he could take the number one spot.

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International Acclaim

Henderson’s excellent performances this season have already seen him rewarded with a first senior call-up, and it would now seem he is in pole position to get into the squad for the European Championships next year.

Furthermore, an excellent remainder of the season could also see him start the first game at the Euro’s as Jordan Pickford’s Everton have struggled throughout this season. Any injury to Pickford could also leave the door open for Henderson, and it is a remarkable place to be for the United-loanee as he was only at Shrewsbury Town two years ago.

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Chances At Old Trafford

His mentality is extremely strong for a 22-year-old playing his first season in the Premier League. That was evident in the Blades 1-0 defeat against Liverpool earlier in the season as he recovered excellently after making a rare mistake to give Jurgen Klopp’s side their lead. Just a few minutes after that mistake, he made a wonderful save against Mohamed Salah to keep the Blades in the game. That mental strength is vital for any player that wants to play for United.

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Former United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele feels that it will only be a matter of time before he makes an impression at the Theatre of Dreams. Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “He has all the physical attributes you need. Plus that cockiness and confidence about him. He sees himself as the biggest challenger to De Gea at Manchester United, and I love that. Even though he is not at the club right now.”

Time will tell whether he will achieve that goal, but for the short-term everybody at the club will be wishing him all the luck with the Blades this season, and hopefully England in the summer.

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