Ralf Rangnick’s reluctance to grant Dean Henderson a loan or permanent move has put the interim boss on collision course with the goalkeeper.
Rangnick is not keen to lose a back-up goalkeeper with half of the season still to play. He is of the mind three goalkeepers are required, and he does not consider Lee Grant a first team option.
The Mail report Rangnick has told Henderson he cannot leave, adding: “a confrontation [is] understood to be brewing.”
Rangnick told The Mirror last month: “[For the] Premier League and Champions League and we definitely need three top goalkeepers in order to make up for a player being injured or suspended.”
This is quite obviously not what an ambitious goalkeeper like Dean Henderson wants to hear. He wants to play regular first team football, having had a taste of it with United previously, and at Sheffield United, and with an eye on the 2022 World Cup. David de Gea’s excellent form has made it impossible for him to break back into the side.
In recent days there have been numerous stories in the press about United players being keen to leave. The Henderson situation may yet have a resolution. The Mail reported Henderson as one of the ‘unhappy’ stars, due to a lack of game time.
FA Cup chance could be possible
With talk of dressing room unrest, the forthcoming FA Cup clash with Aston Villa comes at a fascinating time.
This type of fixture was typically lined up as a second choice goalkeeper fixture, with the back-ups stepping in for cup competitions, dating back to the time Sergio Romero was at the club.
Henderson stepped in for the Carabao Cup last season and this season, and the FA Cup last season. You would think he is in contention to do so again on Monday night.
The big question over whether he starts, hangs on his attitude.
With it seemingly clear he wants to leave Old Trafford, is Henderson’s mind really focused on helping the team? Right now United are struggling and need everybody to be at 100 per cent, and cannot afford anybody to be disengaged.
Henderson should want the opportunity, and it becomes harder to keep him for the rest of the season if he is omitted from the side. His frustration will only grow by being denied an opportunity.
A strong showing can keep him fresh and even put him in the shop window. He should be motivated to go in and seize his chance, and even sow some doubt in Ralf Rangnick’s mind over De Gea, as hard as that will be.
An important few days lie ahead in training. If Henderson can impress Rangnick behind the scenes, he will get his start. But if the German sees a drop in focus or motivation, then Henderson may miss out.
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