Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson will receive a much-needed opportunity to stake claim between the sticks in the absence of first-choice shot-stopper David de Gea. The Spain international was conspicuous by his absence in the game against Crystal Palace mid-week. A report now suggests he is back in Spain to be with his partner, who is expecting her first child with the Man United superstar.
During Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's pre-match conference on Tuesday, no mention was made of De Gea's absence from the game. Thus, Henderson's start had the fans talking. Apart from De Gea, French forward Anthony Martial was missing from the squad. And the manager clarified the same after the game. Speaking to the official Man United website, he said, "With David, it's personal reasons. Anthony got a knock on Monday on his knee, so he’s not ready for this game."
Although the Norwegian tactician did not reveal much beyond the reason that De Gea misses due to personal reasons, the Daily Telegraph suggests the shot-stopper is back in Spain. The report claims that the manager has asked De Gea to return to Spain to be with partner Edurne Garcia. The couple are expecting their first child soon.
The manager believes it would be ideal for De Gea to be with his family under such circumstances. As per Sports Mail, the 30-year-old will not return until the international break later this month. This gives Henderson a clear chance to convince the manager of his ability to challenge De Gea for the spot between the sticks.
Henderson has managed eight clean sheets in 13 appearances for the Red Devils this season. Having returned to the Old Trafford outfit after concluding his loan deal with Sheffield United last summer, he has been left frustrated due to a lack of game time.
Solskjaer's preference for the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper has left Henderson fuming. According to Manchester Evening News, the English shot-stopper is wanted by Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham United. But the recent turn of events allows Henderson to prove his point in the absence of De Gea. And it will be difficult for Solskjaer to introduce the Spaniard back in the line up as soon as he returns.