Dean Henderson says it would ‘not be clever’ for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to leave him on the bench next season after the England goalkeeper revealed his intention to oust David De Gea as the club’s first choice stopper.
The 23-year-old returned to Old Trafford in August after two seasons on loan at Sheffield United, where he impressed through the consistency and high level of his displays.
Henderson is yet to play a single game for United but De Gea’s form has dipped dramatically in the last 18 months and the England ace believes now is his time to take over from the Spaniard.
Despite signing a new five-year deal at the club in August, Henderson says he’s unwilling to be a no.2 in comments that will pile the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
‘The aim is for me to play football next season and I don’t 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 that would help any parties at all,’ said Henderson.
‘David De Gea has been a great goalkeeper first and foremost for many years. He’s been phenomenal. That’s something I aspire to be, to have a career like him at the club, so I’ll be going back in first day of the pre-season working my bollocks off to get in that starting lineup because it’s something I’ve always wanted.
‘I’m so close now so I’m not going to give up – I’m going to put the pressure on. I respect David, he’s been a phenomenal servant for the football club and if not one of the best in recent years. It’s down to me. I know what challenges are ahead. I’m well up for it.’
De Gea signed a new five-year deal of his own in 2019 and is now the club’s top earner on £375,000-a-week after Alexis Sanchez’s departure.
The Spaniard won four out of five Player of the Year awards between 2013 and 2018 but De Gea’s form has significantly dropped since Solskjaer took charge and he made a string of high profile errors last season against the likes of Watford, Everton, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.
Sergio Romero is expected to leave the club following Henderson’s return, with the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds and Chelsea interested in the Argentine.
United hope to recoup around £8m for the goalkeeper.