One has to believe in oneself- it’s the only path to success. But sometimes you can believe in yourself a little too much, and that is probably the place where Manchester United reserve goalkeeper Dean Henderson currently resides. The English shot-stopper, who will spend this season out on loan with newly promoted Notingham Forest, really feels disrespected by his parent club.
He admitted that he was “fuming” at how the club treated him last season, keeping him from going out on loan, to a destination where he could be the first choice keeper. Henderson assumed the No. 1 position during the middle part of the 2020-21 season when David de Gea went on family leave and then faced delays returning to the club due to international covid protocols.
Hendo received a call-up to the England squad, after making 26 appearances for United that season. Then he suffered a hip injury, and then tested positive for COVID-19 in the off-season. The prolonged fatigue, as he took a long time to recover from covid, forced him back to the bench. He was only played very sparingly last season.
“To be honest, it has probably been the toughest 12 months of my career,” Henderson said to radio outlet told TalkSport yesterday.
“The conversation I had coming out of the Euros squad was: ‘You’re coming back here to be the No. 1.’ I got COVID-19, came back, so I should have still been the number one but then nobody followed through with what they had told me. It was frustrating, because I turned down so many good loans last summer for that reason, and they would not let me go.”
If Henderson was made promises, and the club didn’t keep them, well then he has a point there. If not, then this just looks like bitterness and sour grapes. Henderson wasn’t done, and his rant continued:
“To sit there for 12 months, it is criminal really, at my age. I was fuming. I told the hierarchy that I need to be playing football and to let me go, and I was almost gone before the manager [Erik ten Hag] came through the door. I have not spoken to him since.”
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong here, Dean Henderson is really damaging his career by slamming his current employer, the parent club he is contractually obligated to for years to come. Given that he doesn’t have any kind of relationship with Ten Hag, his future with the club is very much in doubt. Making these comments certainly won’t help his cause, and it’s hard to see him every becoming the United No. 1 again.
United take on Brighton in the season opener on Sunday. Forest will open against Newcastle United.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.