Solskjaer pays tribute to Manchester United's goalkeepers

Manchester United number one David de Gea has been grabbing all the plaudits lately.

De Gea produced another outstanding performance on Wednesday night against Villarreal to keep United in the game.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to praise Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton at his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Everton.

Neither of the England international goalkeepers have made a league appearance this season, with Henderson’s only outing coming in the EFL Cup loss to West Ham.

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Solskjaer’s man management skills are probably coming into play here, ensuring the understudies don’t get frustrated and making sure it’s not just de Gea getting praise.

He said: “Both Dean and Tom are ready to play when called upon.

“I’ve got to say, the attitude and application in training, in and around the place has been very good.

“Of course Dean has had problems with Covid but he’s past that now and he played really well against West Ham. “I’m very pleased with them.

“What David has had to deal with he’s handled really well and I’m really pleased with him – really, really pleased.”

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It reflects well on Henderson and Heaton that their attitude has been good even while there’s no current prospect of dislodging de Gea at present.

But it is tricky to see where their next opportunity to play is going to come from now United are out of the Carabao Cup.

Henderson might have to wait until the FA Cup starts in January. Given he was left out of the most recent England squad, that might begin to concern him.

All he can do right now is keeping working hard and accepting de Gea is the man in possession of the shirt and in form, while waiting for his chance.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.