Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson
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Dean Bradley Henderson

Current Club: Manchester United

Previous Clubs: N/A

Loan Clubs: Sheffield United, Sheffield United, Shrewsbury Town, Grimsby Town, Stockport County.

International: England 1 cap

Trophies Won: FA Cup 2016, Under-20 World Cup 2017.

The problem with Henderson is that you are almost dealing with two completely different players over the last two seasons. Last season with the Blades he was a confident, composed goalkeeper who controlled his penalty box with real authority. This season the composure and confidence has gone and with it the control of the penalty box and, it seems, his ability as a goalkeeper.

The difference is night and day and really shows how much benefit a young player can get from playing regularly and how detrimental it can be when he is sat on the bench instead. It also displays the benefit a defence and goalkeeper gain from developing an understanding. All of that makes it a strange decision to stop him going back out on loan to Sheffield United again this season.

The question now remains as to whether he can recover from a season like this, where his every error is magnified and blown out of proportion because of the club he is playing for. At the Blades he did make errors too, but he knew he had the backing of the manager and club to play the next game, so he was able to just learn from them. At United, he knows he will not play again until the next cup match, so an error stands out and leaves an impressions that lasts in the mind.

That is adding pressure on top of the extra pressure that comes with playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world in a match that is usually in a knockout competition, so you do not get a second chance. What you are seeing when Henderson plays is the result of all that, a player who is tense, rather than relaxed. A tense player, who is scared to make an error, will make even more errors as their movement is no longer natural.

Where a save was once natural, an instinctive thing, now he is second guessing himself and thinking about what he is doing. Henderson's movements become tight and no longer flow, making him unable to get across the ground or leap as far as he would normally do. Kicking becomes difficult and you become a little more reactive and so late to everything.

Last season Henderson was being compared favourably with David de Gea, admittedly a slightly out of form de Gea, and looked like the perfect replacement. He is a very different type of keeper than the Spaniard though, being much better at dealing with high balls into the box and dominating the penalty area. In terms of their goalkeeping styles, de Gea just gets a body part in the way, throwing out his feet or hands just to keep the ball out of the net, whereas Henderson is more inclined to try and get his hand to it, rather than use his feet.

Strangely de Gea's goalkeeping with his feet does not extend to an ability to play out from the back, but Henderson is much more comfortable doing that and his kicks are usually more accurate. Henderson is a player for a team that wants to play out from the back more and will hold a higher line, requiring a keeper to be ready to rush out and sweep up. That may be a big part of the problem at Man Utd, as their deep defence and quick counters is not really his forte.

What is clear is that a decision needs to be made on him soon, another full season warming the bench is not going to help his career. At 23, the club need to be looking towards getting him ready to be their number 1 in a couple of years, rather than the short-term gain of having an excellent keeper on the bench in case of an injury to de Gea.

Requested by - Manchesterunitedrumours


Written by Ed001 January 28 2021 12:28:53