Ralf Rangnick comments on Lee Grant and United's goalkeepers

Manchester United renewed Lee Grant’s contract in the summer. It was a surprising move considering the club also signed 35-year-old Tom Heaton.

Grant, 38, has not played a first team game for Manchester United for over two years now, going back to the 2019 defeat against Astana.

United fans got a glimpse of Grant in pre-season, and he has not even made the substitutes bench once this campaign.

His fortunes are not likely to change under new interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images


The German said in his press conference on Tuesday that Grant is still around, he just is not under consideration for the first team.

The topic came up when Rangnick was discussing the club’s goalkeepers. He is planning on resting David de Gea against Young Boys and giving Dean Henderson his first start since Septmber.

Rangnick said: “Dean is a very, very good, ambitious goalkeeper. We definitely need two goalkeepers, we have even three with Tom [Heaton] and with [Lee] Grant we have a fourth one, so we have four goalkeepers. But I would say the three goalkeepers that really come into recognition for the first team.”

United’s goalkeeping depth chart and how it could change in Grant’s favour

Fourth choice now, Grant’s role may change in the second half of the season.

Dean Henderson is being touted for a loan, with The Telegraph reporting Ajax are keen, with Andre Onana potentially leaving the club in January. Ajax supremo Edwin van der Sar is reportedly pushing for the move.

If Henderson leaves, Grant will be up to third choice behind Tom Heaton, who will be backing up David de Gea.

An injury or suspension to either of the two would suddenly push Grant even higher up the depth chart.

A goalkeeper of his experience may be useful to have in an emergency circumstance at the end of the season if required.

His role could quite easily be given to a younger player, but it is far more beneficial for young talent Nathan Bishop, for instance, to be out on loan at Mansfield Town.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Grant can learn a lot under Rangnick

It is very unlikely Grant’s deal will be renewed again next summer. When it was last year, it was probably under the proviso one of De Gea or Henderson would leave, and the latter getting Covid prevented United from allowing a proper competition to form between the pair, or the latter to go out on loan.

Grant can turn this opportunity into a positive, just being around Rangnick and his incoming coaching staff over the next few months.

The goalkeeper completed his UEFA A coaching license earlier this year and wants to stay on in football after he retires.

Rangnick is a great boss for him to learn from before his contract expires and broaden his own horizons, before he pushes ahead with his coaching career, even if there is one more playing stop left elsewhere first.

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