The on-loan keeper was impressing in the Premier League for the Blades and has been advised to spend another year at Bramall Lane.
Dean Henderson would be best placed staying at Sheffield United while David de Gea stays at Manchester United, based on former midfielder Paul Ince.
The 23-year-old has been excelling at Bramall Lane in his second loan spell out of Old Trafford and is joint-second for the most clean sheets stored in the Premier League this season.
Henderson is keen to keep his position as a first-choice goalkeeper and is open to prolonging his stay at Chris Wilder’s side. The Blades’ boss has said talks have started overtaking back the keeper for next season.
United value Henderson tremendously and gave him a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2022. While the academy graduate will have his mindset on being the first option at Old Trafford later on, Ince believes he should stay put in Sheffield for today.
“He’s been excellent and excelled himself and he’s still relatively young. When someone does well on loan then you start to think can they perform a job for Manchester United. I think in the moment keepers will need to be experienced,” Ince informed Target.
“He ought to be happy, he’s playing football week in, week out. If he belongs to Manchester United and sits on the seat like [Sergio] Romero has done for years, then it is not great. If he plays week in, week out then his time will come.”
Ince, who’s a Paddy Power ambassador, also considers if United were dedicated to providing Henderson a shot at being the first-choice goalkeeper any time soon they wouldn’t have given De Gea a fresh thing.
The Spaniard agreed to terms on a contract extension last September that will keep him at the club until 2023. Despite a dip in form this year manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stuck with the 29-year-old.
“If United had a strategy and Dean Henderson was in line then I do not believe they would have been dumb enough to give David de Gea a five-year contract. The fact he signed that and they agreed that with Ole means he’s going to be the No.1 for a time period,” Ince said.
“Unless he gets hurt then I can not see Henderson getting a chance despite being outstanding. We’ve observed a few mistakes from De Gea recently, but keepers are constantly contested and prone to errors as the last line of defence.
“They gave him a five-year deal, so I believe he is going to be the No.1 to another three or four decades. If he makes too many mistakes then he’ll lose his position and his location.”
With Euro 2020 being postponed for a year as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, another season on loan at Bramall Lane would provide Henderson a much greater prospect of getting Gareth Southgate’s first option for the championship in the summer of 2021.
There have been lots of calls this year for Henderson to replace Jordan Pickford as England’s No.1 and another year under Wilder is very likely to strengthen this argument.
“Sheffield United and Chris Wilder have had a large effect on him because he is learning, he is growing as a human being and as a participant,” Solskjaer said about Henderson earlier this season. Another high-impact season might be just what Henderson should secure his place ahead of the Euros. Moreover, he believes he has what it takes to be the first selection for England.
“Being ambitious like I am, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, I have my eyes on the top,” Henderson said in February. “I’ve just got to keep doing, keep doing well and hopefully get a chance because you can not prove anything with no opportunity.”
The danger for Henderson is that a second-year provides Pickford the chance to place a mistake-laden effort at Everton behind him and push again. However, Henderson knows the best place for him to improve is at Bramall Lane.
Solskjaer thinks that the goalkeeper’s long-term future is at Old Trafford. However, with De Gea secured into a long-term deal and extremely unlikely to be moving everywhere anytime shortly the ideal method for Henderson to make a statement and stake a claim for the No.1 shirt at United is just another season in Sheffield.