Dean Henderson blasts Manchester United for broken promises and says he barely spoke to Erik ten Hag
Dean Henderson did not hang about this summer, pushing through a move to Nottingham Forest without even reporting for pre-season at Manchester United.
Henderson signed for Forest on a loan deal, and he is desperate to get his career back on track, admitting he wasted a year of his career last season.
Instead of accepting the reason he played so little last season was due to his severe bout of Covid which kept him out for the entirety of July and August, Henderson blames United for not giving him a proper shot of first team football upon his return.
In a fresh interview with Talksport, Henderson has hit out at United and described the past year as the toughest of his career.
Dean Henderson blasts Manchester United
Henderson said: “To be honest, it has probably been the toughest 12 months of my career. It has been tough, hard, and I am so happy I have gone out the other end of it.
“The conversation I had coming out of the Euros squad was ‘you’re coming back here to be the No.1.
“I got Covid-19, came back, so I should have still been the No.1, but then nobody followed through with what they had told me.
“It was frustrating, because I turned down so many good loans last summer for that reason, and they would not let me go.
“To sit there for 12 months, it is criminal really, at my age, I was fuming.
By this time, which Henderson does not acknowledge, was that David de Gea came back and seized his opportunity, playing very strongly at the start of last season.
De Gea ended up winning Manchester United’s player of the year award, voted for by his fellow players, so axing him would not have been a particularly popular move.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement Ralf Rangnick took the same view, that De Gea should be the number one. Henderson played only three games in all competitions.
Henderson is now on loan at Nottingham Forest for the season, and he says he barely spoke to new manager Erik ten Hag
He said: “I told the hierarchy that I need to be playing football and to let me go, and I was almost gone before the manager [Erik ten Hag] came through the door. I have not spoken to him since.”
Henderson must back up his comments
Henderson’s comments may not go down well at United. He comes across as understandably frustrated, but also a little naive, not to mention arrogant. No wonder the dressing room was such a mess last season with attitudes like that from frustrated players who weren’t featuring.
He must now prove himself at Nottingham Forest, and he should do well. Henderson is a good goalkeeper who has played solidly for Manchester United when given the opportunity.
If not for his Covid, he could have won a fair battle with De Gea the previous summer, but it happened, and United reacted accordingly, and Henderson should not blame the club for that.
His loan deal does not have a purchase option, and De Gea’s contract at United expires next summer – although there is an option to extend to 2024.
Henderson’s wages are a third of the cost of De Gea’s, so it could be that United choose to keep him, and let De Gea go, if he impresses, providing he hasn’t burned his bridges.
A preferable move would probably be to let both players go, and allow new boss Erik ten Hag bring in his own number one goalkeeper next summer.