He’s working hard on a couple of aspects of his game we’ve spoken about with him, and I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that backup goalkeeper Dean Henderson is desperate to replace David de Gea in the starting lineup.
De Gea’s status as United’s first-choice goalkeeper has come into question in recent days following a poor performance in the 3-3 draw with Everton, in which most felt he could have done better for two of the Toffees’ goals.
In Henderson, they have arguably the best backup goalkeeper in the Premier League. He has been earmarked as a future number one at Old Trafford after starring on loan with Sheffield United last season, but has been restricted to just ten appearances in all competitions this year.
“Dean has played well whenever he’s got the chance. He’s matured and for me he’s developed his game,” Solskjaer said when asked how long Henderson would have to wait for another chance.
“I know he’s not played as many games as he would have last season, but you see every game when he plays and in training his improvement.
“He’s working hard on a couple of aspects of his game we’ve spoken about with him, and I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.
“Of course, he’s not the most patient guy. He wants to play every game because he knows he’ll perform well, so long may it continue because he’s improved since he came [back] here.”
It’s a tricky situation for Solskjaer to handle. On one hand, you’ve got a 30-year-old loyal servant to the club who can be one of the world’s best goalkeepers on his day, but on the other, you’ve got a 23-year-old who needs to play if he is to become the future star he has been touted as.
It brings back memories of Petr Cech vs Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea. When the latter returned from his loan with Atletico Madrid in 2014, he made it clear he was ready to be a first-choice goalkeeper, and the Blues were left with no choice but to demote club-legend Cech to the bench so as to ensure the youngster didn’t leave and excel elsewhere.
Henderson is expected to return to the starting lineup for Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth round clash with West Ham, but by the sounds of it, he’ll need a lot more minutes if he’s to stay at United this summer.