Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson could be leaving the club in January.
According to reports it won’t be a permanent exit. The Sun claim Henderson could join Newcastle on a 18 month loan.
It would be a radical decision to send Henderson out on an extended loan, rather than cashing in, or sanctioning just a six month deal.
The decision could turn out to be a very smart call if this is the deal United elect to do. Here are three reasons why it works…
Keeps United in control of Henderson’s future
United know Dean Henderson could be the club’s long-term goalkeeper. He signed a contract in 2020 which runs until 2026.
So there should be no rush to make a decision to sell now, and United would be making the smart decision not to rush into a call.
Henderson was denied the chance to have a straight battle in the summer with David de Gea, with the Spaniard winning the number one spot by default, thanks to Henderson’s hip injury and Covid battle.
De Gea has played well since coming back in, but the same questions remain over him staying rooted to his line. Henderson has different attributes, and even if United are not willing to make the change right now, that could change in the future.
Newly rich Newcastle will have the money to put a tempting fee together for Henderson, and it would be a consideration for United to take £30 million.
Yet, if in 18 months time, David de Gea has taken a step back, United will need to go and buy a new number one, and how much will that cost?
De Gea’s contract runs to 2024, inclusive of the extra-option. Henderson would return to the club in June 2023.
By then, United could decide it is time to cash in on De Gea when he has one year left on his deal, and move Henderson across to take over.
Simplifies task for United’s next manager
Changing a goalkeeper is a big call, when David de Gea is involved. The Spaniard has been at the club for 10 years and is among United’s top 20 appearance makers of all time.
De Gea is hugely popular in the dressing room among his teammates, and when a new manager comes in, he will likely turn to the veteran first.
With Henderson temporarily out of the picture, it saves the new boss having to make a big call early on, and allows him to properly assess De Gea.
By 2023 he may have seen enough, and want Henderson to come in and replace him.
Or he could decree De Gea to be good enough to warrant a contract extension and sell Henderson.
Either way, with Henderson on loan, he can make an informed decision with the luxury of time, rather than rushing into an early call and chopping and changing in an effort to keep both players happy.
Henderson has a proper shot at World Cup
By sending Henderson out on loan for 18 months, United are doing right by the player.
One of Henderson’s short term goals is to have a proper crack at the World Cup 2022 squad, and even becoming number one.
He won’t be able to do that sitting on United’s bench.
While Henderson has a long-term contract with United, he will get fed up quickly if he is not playing regular football, which would force United into a sale, and abandon the long-term plan of him taking over.
So sending him on loan keeps him happy. It’s a case of United looking after their asset.
This works better as an extended deal rather than a six month loan, because it gives Henderson a chance to build momentum heading into the World Cup next Autumn.
There are 16 Premier League games at the start of next season before the tournament.
Henderson would much rather use that time as an extension of his loan at the end of this season, as opposed to starting afresh again.
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