After a successful loan spell with Sheffield United, Dean Henderson has admitted that while he respects David de Gea, he is going to challenge the Spaniard to be Manchester United’s first choice. The 23-year-old finished the 2019/20 season with the joint third most clean sheets on par with De Gea.
Despite being touted to sign another extension to his loan spell with Sheffield United, Dean Henderson returned home to Old Trafford. The Manchester United starlet has thrived during his two-year loan spell with the Blades and has slowly become into arguably one of the best young goalkeepers in the Premier League. However, while he has been linked with another loan spell away from Manchester, the 23-year-old has instead signed a new five-year contract with the club.
Not only that, but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also revealed that Henderson and David De Gea will have to fight it out to secure a regular starting role. That has seen the former Sheffield United loanee admit that while he believes De Gea is a phenomenal goalkeeper and a great servant for Manchester United, he is going to challenge him for the first choice role. Henderson also added that his aim is to play regular football in the 2020/21 season and that will see him put the pressure on the Spaniard.
“The aim is for me to play football next season and I don’t want to be not playing after last season. Coming off a good season with momentum, it wouldn’t be clever for me to sit around and not play football. I don’t think that would help any parties at all. David de Gea has been a great goalkeeper first and foremost for many years. He’s been phenomenal,” Henderson said reported the Guardian.
“That’s something I aspire to be, to have a career like him at the club, so I’ll be going back in first day of the pre-season working my bollocks off to get in that starting lineup because it’s something I’ve always wanted. I’m so close now so I’m not going to give up – I’m going to put the pressure on. I respect David, he’s been a phenomenal servant for the football club and if not one of the best in recent years. It’s down to me. I know what challenges are ahead. I’m well up for it.”
The 23-year-old goalkeeper is yet to make a senior appearance for the Red Devils having spent loan spells at Sheffield United, Shrewsbury, Grimsby Town and Stockport over the years. But his last spell with Sheffield has significantly raised his stock as a player which has seen Henderson earn an England call-up for Gareth Southgate’s latest squad. That saw Henderson admit that he is on the career path he set out for himself and his experience on loan will help him thrive.
“I said at 23 I’ll go back [to United] and that’ll be my time. I remember sitting in the interview room at Grimsby when I said it. I knew what I needed to do, I knew what I needed to tick off before I got there. I’ve done that and hope I can get to where I want to be. You can get many things from training, and obviously learn off someone like David and the other goalkeepers and goalkeeper coaches, but I don’t think there’s any substitute for game time.
“I went out from Man United five years ago. I started at Stockport, Grimsby, Shrewsbury and then Sheffield, which shows how much I’ve learned out on my own. I’ve picked up experiences that happen in games because they’re situations you don’t really get in training. I’m under no illusions that I’m not going to improve just sat on the bench. I need that game time," he added.