Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson can now focus on next season after withdrawing from England’s Euro 2020 squad last week.
At first glance, the 24-year-old’s injury seemed bad news for club and country. But there is another way to look at things.
Henderson can now focus fully on recovering; ensuring he is ready for United’s opening game of the new campaign.
For a while, it seemed Henderson had secured his place as United’s number one. Then came a mistake against Liverpool and David de Gea’s return.
The Spaniard played two of the last three games this season, including the Europa League final. And it remains to be seen who will be United’s first-choice stopper next time out.
During Henderson’s prolonged run in the starting XI, it seemed unthinkable that his future would uncertain just a few weeks on. Yet talk of a summer switch returned once De Gea was back between the sticks.
The truth is, one will almost certainly leave United during the transfer window. Either Henderson goes on loan or De Gea leaves for good, and most Red Devils fans are hoping for the latter.
Henderson is the future of this club. He is an outstanding young goalkeeper with the confidence of a superstar ten years his senior. And now he has just one focus.
Fully focused on next season
The Euros are no longer a distraction for a player who needs to focus fully on United in the coming months.
While De Gea is sitting on the bench for Spain, Henderson can return to Old Trafford, recover from his minor injury, and kick on.
Pre-season will allow the stopper to regain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s trust; if he ever lost it.
The United boss surely knows what he has on his hands. He made a big call dropping the club’s highest earner for a relatively rookie ‘keeper. And he should stick with Henderson when domestic football returns.
He has only played a dead-rubber since his shakiest outing in a United shirt. This summer, he can reclaim the role as the club’s unflappable master between the sticks.