Manchester United currently have the unique, but special luxury in boasting some serious depth in quality between the sticks.
Not only do the club currently have two top-level goalkeepers in their senior match-day squad, but also some seriously promising talents emerging through the ranks.
One of which, has made a big name for himself this season.
Dean Henderson flourishing in Sheffield
With ten clean sheets to his name, only Burnley’s Nick Pope has kept more opponents at bay than Dean Henderson in the current Premier League campaign. Having conceded eighteen less goals though, many have labelled the latter in being the best goalkeeper in the top-flight this season.
In fact, only Alisson has a better record in this department (keepers with 15+ caps only), a figure that has the luxury in having Virgil van Dijk in-front of him. The stats certainly don’t lie, and it isn’t a ridiculous claim in labelling Henderson’s as the league’s best keeper this season.
Operating in a rigid, well-organised Sheffield United side, the Englishman’s loan experience has been more than ideal. Chris Wilder, who maintains a strong relationship with each squad member, has been a great mentor for the youngster.
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Henderson played an integral part in the Blades’ promotion last season, keeping twenty-one clean sheets in forty-six games. His form has continued in the top-flight, as he looks settled in a team that has rarely changed its ways over the past three years.
Albeit an unorthodox shape, the 23-year-old has maintained a responsibility in distributing the ball out to his defenders, with Sheff United’s operating with three CB’s. The newly promoted side have the second best defensive record in the league this season, a key factor why a third loan with the club will only expand his learning experience.
Long-term future not in doubt
There should be very little speculation or question marks placed on Henderson’s long-term future.
Manchester United knew what they were doing when they handed the Englishman a new contract last year, which expires in 2022, with an option to extend. They were tying down a talented keeper, who was embarking upon a very obvious, but stable career path.
Whilst his performances this season have perhaps exceeded expectation, this was always going to be the campaign where Henderson would show his worth on the big stage. The Red Devils handed the keeper such a deal to squash any doubts over their long-term commitments of the player, with the club continuing to place such youth players at the core of their new re-build under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Another year on loan in the Premier League, playing in a comforting system in a team on the rise, whilst his own reputation soars? It’s a deal that suits all parties involved.
Chris Wilder recently revealed to Sky Sports that he believes the player will one day be England’s number one, with the manager always speaking highly of the loanee.
As mentioned, Henderson is very settled at Bramall Lane and most notably, loved by the fans. Given all of the above factors, it would seem strange to hamper his development by sending him to another club.