Dean Henderson Says He Wants to be the United No. 1 this Season

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explicitly said previously that Dean Henderson is the club’s goalkeeper of the future. Is that future right now, in 2020-21? Well, David de Gea remains confident he’ll keep his starting place in the between the sticks for now.

However, Henderson, while on loan with Sheffield United, had a better 2019-20 season than the Spaniard did. Henderson’s heroics with the Blades got him a call-up with the England national team, and while on international duty with Three Lions he made his ambitions clear.

“Look, 100%, the aim is for me to play football next season,” Henderson said ahead of the UEFA Nations League clash versus Iceland.

“I don’t think I 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 it would help any parties at all.”

Henderson wants to establish himself to become the No. 1 for both club and country, and he knows that being the No. 2 at Old Trafford isn’t right for him. By making it clear that he wants and needs to play this season, it’s possible he could go out on loan again.

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He spent the past two campaigns out on loan with Sheffield, but he did just very recently sign an extension with United to reaffirm his long term future with the club.

“You can get many things from training and obviously learn off someone like David and the other goalkeepers and coaches,” Dean Henderson continued, “but I don’t think there’s any substitute for game-time.

“I’m not going to improve just sitting on the bench. I need that game time.

“David de Gea has obviously been a great goalkeeper for many years.”

“He’s been phenomenal and that’s something I aspire to be, to have a career like his at the club, so I’ll be going back in on first day of the preseason working my socks off to get in that starting line-up because it’s something I’ve always wanted.”

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“I’m so close now so I’m not going to give up, I’m going to put the pressure on.”

De Gea has certainly accomplished a lot in a Red Devils shirt. He’s been by far the brightest star on some rather dimly lit teams in recent years, but now his quality has dropped while the quality of the players around him has improved. Maybe it is changing of the guard time?

Comment your thoughts below.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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