April 19, 2021

Man Utd

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Guardiola and Klopp have shown Man United how to handle goalkeeper dilemma

2 min read

Dean Henderson was exemplary when called into action against Manchester City.

The 23-year-old only enhanced his starting credentials at the Etihad, recording his ninth clean sheet of the season across all competitions for United.

Notably, Henderson also became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League away at City since Rui Patricio in October 2019, highlighting the calibre of his display.

While he offered a reassuring presence at the back, commanding orders to players much his senior, it was Henderson’s distribution that created United’s second goal.

The ability to read and understand the pitch developing in front of him is an asset that Henderson, and all elite goalkeepers, possess.

His 50-yard throw out to Luke Shaw was excellent goalkeeping, and every strong performance from Henderson only adds to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dilemma.

Should he persist with David de Gea as United’s number one, at the risk of losing Henderson?

It seems increasingly likely that a decision will be made by the Norweigan in the summer, and Solskjaer needs to share the ruthless mentality of his managerial rivals.

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Henderson and McTominay celebrate at full-time

Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.

Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.

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Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp inherited difficult goalkeeping situations at their respective clubs before mercilessly pulling rank, the former jettisoning Joe Hart to Turin upon his arrival at City and the latter sending Loris Karius to Besiktas after his two howlers for Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final.

Hart and Karius may never have scaled the heights De Gea has, but the Spaniard hasn’t produced his best form in over two years.

Ederson and Allison both played monumental roles in City’s and Liverpool’s Premier League title campaigns, with Guardiola and Klopp having previously made changes to get it right.

The importance of finding a brilliant goalkeeper can’t be understated and, as recent history has shown, it can propel teams with title aspirations to silverware.

Fortunately for United, they don’t need to scour the transfer market for that goalkeeping option – Henderson already seems the natural heir to De Gea’s number one shirt.

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