Sheffield United have had a fairytale return to the Premier League. They are almost closing in on a top 4 spot with three months left for the season to end. One of the hallmarks of Chris Wilder’s success with the newly-promoted side is the airtight defence. It has Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson between the sticks. Dean Henderson’s good form in goal and David de Gea’s lacklustre performances for Manchester United gives rise to one question: Who will be Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper next season?
If Premier League statistics are considered, Dean Henderson beats David de Gea in almost every possible metric. Both De Gea and Henderson have faced 65 shots. However, it is Henderson who has a better save percentage of 75.58 compared to the Spaniard’s 69.15. De Gea has made more errors leading to goals (2) than the young Englishman (1). He also trails the Sheffield United man when it comes penalties saved, high claims and punches. Sheffield have only conceded 21 goals in the Premier League so far and have kept nine clean sheets, while David de Gea has managed only five clean sheets. Henderson is a far more physical presence in the box and has won more aerial battles (14) and made more clearances (20) than David de Gea. The United shot stopper has numbers of 7 (aerial battles) and 11 (clearances) respectively.
United have a unique dilemma in that the best English, Spanish and Argentinian goalkeepers are on their books. They can still keep De Gea, Romero and Dean Henderson happy for one more year #mufc https://t.co/RRgmLKWAFt— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 7, 2020
However, with David de Gea having signed a new contract that keeps him at Manchester United till 2023 (with a possible one year extension), Dean Henderson will likely spend another season on loan at Sheffield United where he will develop further.
Manchester United have always had an envious list of goalkeepers. Peter Schmeichel. Edwin Van der Sar, Tim Howard. David de Gea. They have all commanded their goalposts for Manchester United in the past three decades.
With Dean Henderson, Nathan Bishop, Matej Kovar and Joel Periera amongst their ranks, one could expect the same sort of legacy going forward. Manchester United could have two keepers starting or their national teams at Euro 2020, with David de Gea and Dean Henderson both likely to start for Spain and England considering Kepa Arrizabalaga and Jordan Pickford’s poor form this season.