Darren Fletcher has identified the return of Dean Henderson as the main reason for David de Gea’s upturn in form for Manchester United.
The Spaniard put in a stellar performance in Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain, making a number of key saves to deny the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
United have shipped 12 goals in four league games this season but De Gea has been largely blameless and was retained for the trip to the French capital, with Dean Henderson, restricted to appearances in the Carabao Cup since returning from Sheffield United, among the substitutes.
Henderson excelled during his two seasons on loan at Bramall Lane, before returning to Old Trafford to fight for a regular starting spot.
And Fletcher believes that the competition Henderson is providing is a big factor in De Gea’s improvement.
“People wonder why Dean Henderson was kept around, it was basically to say to David ‘you’ve got a challenge now’,” Fletcher told BT Sport.
“I think [Sergio] Romero was always happy to be the second choice but now David has got a genuine contender for a number one spot and it’s bringing out the best in him.
“His performance tonight was fantastic, he kept them in the game with some great saves. David has been on top form this season and it’s no coincidence.
“Dean Henderson is a threat there now, he wants to be that number one, he’s got the confidence, but he’s got a long way to go. I’m glad to see David get back to his best form.”