A shot-stopper to die for, Dean Henderson has been a key part of Sheffield United’s magnificent season so far. You sometimes forget he’s on loan from Manchester United, and I’m sure Blades fans wish he wasn’t. They will be more than keen to bring him in on a permanent deal. But does Henderson’s future belong in the Steel City? Or can he make a case to be the Red Devils’, and even England’s, number one?
According to TeamTalk, Manchester United may be willing to sell Henderson to Sheffield United IF the contract includes a buy back clause. Other than that, both Chelsea and Paris St. Germain are interested, and would be willing to pay larger sums of money than Sheffield United.
Dean Henderson – Better than David De Gea
Well, the stats say yes. Henderson has nine clean sheets to De Gea’s five. This is despite the Spanish number one having played a game more than him. He also has a save percentage of 75%. De Gea’s is just 69%.
Another aspect that De Gea is often criticised for his is lack of confidence when coming to claim the ball. Henderson is supremely better in that area, making twelve claims this season to David’s three. However, the role of a goalkeeper has changed greatly over the modern era. Instead of hoofing it forwards in the general direction of your number nine, a ‘keeper is expected to pick out just about whoever they want. Henderson has just a 34% pass accuracy, whilst the once-acclaimed best goalkeeper in the world boasts a 73% ratio.
That’s not good enough. When football is now all about having eleven players that can play with their feet, Henderson really has to work on his distribution. Apart from that, you would have to say that the 22 year old has more than deserved to be given a chance at Old Trafford. But would he want it?
Jordan Pickford has been England’s number one. His penalty heroics against Colombia etched his name in folklore and his ‘laddish’ personality has made him loved all across the country. Shame he has been incredibly error-prone and unreliable between the sticks. Still only 25-years-old, it is good that Pickford has some major competition ahead of the Euro 2020. I can really see Henderson pipping him to it.
The only issue is, as much as he deserves the chance to be starting for the Three Lions, I can see Gareth Southgate sticking with Pickford. Not on merit, but because of the big club bias, or more so, the lack of attention to smaller clubs. No doubt he’ll be on the plane, but Henderson might be number 2. England managers have historically made poor selections, despite having all the talent in the world at their disposal. Let’s hope Southgate has some sense this time.
As long as Dean Henderson continues to perform as he is, there is no doubt that he will be on the transfer lists of every major club. With the Euros steadily approaching, the next year could be a huge one in his career. At only twenty-two, he has the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in world football.
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