Dean Henderson intensified Gareth Southgate’s selection headache ahead of Euro 2020 yesterday with another outstanding performance against Norwich.
In light of the recent shaky form of Everton’s Jordan Pickford, it’s no secret that England’s number 1 jersey is very much up for grabs to whoever can meet the challenge.
Fans and pundits alike have thrown Henderson’s name around on multiple occasions previously, but his latest performance has firmly secured his spot in the debate.
The 22-year-old, who plays on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, single-handedly kept the Blades’ 1-0 lead intact with a string of brilliant saves during the last 20.
The victory propelled Sheffield United up to sixth and secured Henderson a remarkable tenth clean sheet of the season – a record which matches that of Liverpool’s Allison Becker.
The highlight of an outstanding performance came in the 78th minute, when ‘Deano’ produced a miraculous double save to deny Norwich as they peppered the United goal.
Henderson was on hand to deny Ben Godfrey’s bullet header from a dangerously whipped Norwich corner, and then got his body behind the rebound from Mario Vrancic.
And somehow, he managed to deny Norwich’s third bite at the cherry from Josip Drmic at point blank range - with a bit of help from ex-Ipswich striker David McGoldrick.
Words really don’t do it justice, so take a look for yourself here:
If anyone was doubting Henderson’s potential to be England’s number one, they’re surely now eating their words after watching that.
It goes without saying that the agility and instinctive quick reactions he displayed to deny the Canaries a valuable point at Bramall Lane would surely serve England well.
And when you consider that Henderson wasn’t really tested for the first 60 minutes, the way he managed to spring into action to save his side becomes all the more impressive.
We know all too well that England can fall victim to smaller nations at major tournaments. They definitely need a keeper who can keep focused in a quiet game the way Henderson did.
Time will tell if he can usurp the place of Pickford or Nick Pope in the mind of the England boss, but he’s certainly staking a strong claim.
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