In a summer which has been doom and gloom for Manchester United fans since we clinched Champions League qualification, bizarrely, Dean Henderson is a ray of sunshine.

United announced a six-year contract extension for Henderson earlier this week, with Sky Sports reporting he will compete for a first team spot.

Henderson has given his first interview to the club website since the deal was announced, and what was great to hear was how excited he is to play for the club.

Dean Henderson Signs a New Contract at Manchester United
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The 23-year-old has been on United’s books since he was 14, and now he is on the verge of making his first team debut.

Henderson told the club website: “That would mean the world to me. Everything I’ve done is to put myself in the position to do that. I’ve worked so hard behind the scenes and had to take different pathways to get to where I want to be today.

“I’m sat here now, thinking about the next step and obviously that Man United debut would be something I’ll be very proud of and something I’ll never, ever forget, if it comes – when it comes!”

Over the past few years United have seen so-called mercenaries come and go, without much passion for the club.

Henderson genuinely does care, and his enthusiasm is so good to hear. It could be just what United need, combined with his talent.

The young goalkeeper was in the crowd at Old Trafford when Marcus Rashford made his debut in 2016 against Midtjylland in the Europa League. Now he is edging closer to his own first team bow.

 

On the pitch he has proved he can play in the Premier League, keeping 13 clean sheets on loan at Sheffield United last season.

There is obviously an adjustment to be made to step up to play for United, with more pressure on a weekly basis.

Given that the season is expected to begin with no crowds, this may actually be the right moment to make the transition so Henderson can ease into life as a United player.

That would be a big call for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make, to drop David de Gea, and there would be immediate pressure and focus on Henderson regardless from the media.

Dean Henderson Signs a New Contract at Manchester United
(Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Whether he starts as first choice or second choice, Henderson has a bright future at Old Trafford and is a player the club can build around.

Henderson has been on five separate loan spells at four different clubs and to see him make the breakthrough will be an inspiration to the current crop of loanees heading out.

Tahith Chong is already on loan at Werder Bremen, and as the MEN reports, Dylan Levitt and James Garner are among those expected to follow.

Just as Rashford was an inspiration for Henderson, he will help blaze a trail for more to follow.

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