Man Utd: Dean Henderson's highlights for Forest have got fans talking

  • Kobe Tong
Forest's Henderson and Cooper.

Dean Henderson endured a frustrating 2021/22 season.

Having gone blow for blow with David de Gea over Manchester United‘s number one jersey upon his return to the club for the 2020/21 campaign, Henderson found himself fighting a losing battle the following year.

De Gea finally seemed to arrest his post-2018 World Cup slump and produce the heroic displays necessary to stop Henderson from permanently replacing him between the sticks at Old Trafford.

Henderson vs De Gea debate

Marry that to the Red Devils performing woefully in cup competitions and Henderson was limited to just three first-team appearances, understandably prompting him to seek pastures new this summer.

However, despite many fans expecting Henderson to wave goodbye to United on a permanent basis, it seems as though his Old Trafford dream isn’t over quite yet having signed for Nottingham Forest as part of a loan deal.

While it could well turn out that Henderson has indeed played his final game for the Red Devils, there’s still a chance that an impressive season at the City Ground could reignite his chances of becoming De Gea’s long-term successor.

1 of 20
Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes and Frank Lampard

Who scored the most Premier League goals?

Henderson’s ball-playing ability

And if there’s one area in which most fans would agree that Henderson has the edge over De Gea, then it’s most certainly his ball-playing ability.

While De Gea is no slouch with the ball at his feet, there’s no denying that some of his wobblier moments last season came when he was forced to make high-pressure passes that Henderson wouldn’t typically flinch at.

And although Erik ten Hag seems to have invested his faith in De Gea for the 2022/23 season, there is speculation amongst fans as to whether the new coach might favour Henderson in the long run.

Besides, Ten Hag was less than happy with one of De Gea’s long punts forward that gave away possession in the recent friendly against Crystal Palace with the Mirror quoting him as shouting: “David, what the f*** are you doing?”

It’s a fascinating debate and one that doesn’t have an obvious answer, but you can rest assured that it’s alive and well on the back of Henderson’s recent outing for Forest against Hertha Berlin.

Though his debut for the promoted side against Barnsley was cut short by an injury scare, Henderson looked fit as a fiddle this time around as Forest downed their Bundesliga opponents 3-1 at the Pirelli Stadium.

Henderson’s highlights vs Hertha Berlin

In fact, Henderson looked so good that his individual highlights were even posted to United’s leading Reddit page, amassing more than 1,000 ‘likes’ and 200 comments at the time of writing.

The reason? Well, because not only did the 25-year-old produce a truly brilliant save, but he also showed exactly the type of competent sweeper-keeping and passing that De Gea is so often accused of lacking.

It’s certainly easy to see why the nature of Henderson’s performance would get the United goalkeeper debate flowing again, so be sure to make your own mind up by watching his highlights down below:

Dean Henderson vs Hertha Berlin from reddevils

How Man Utd fans reacted

One fan replied in the comments: “He looks so much like the keeper we need right now. Hope he has a great loan and that Forest stays up.”

Another chimed in by saying: “De Gea’s successor hopefully. His all round game is great, the only things he needs to work on is knowing when to come off his line and exercise better judgement. But that comes with experience. I hope he is in our future plans.”

A third posted: “Any other player of his ability would have left Manchester United by now if they had to be loaned again. But Dean’s determination to be the first choice keeper of this club is what’s keeping him here. I hope he gets his chance someday soon.”

While another fan opined: “Should’ve gone with him as it will help the system overall. Using DDG simply because his wages are so high and he can’t be sold is the wrong message to send. Been down that road too many times.”

And a fifth wrote: “Disregarding allegiances to DDG, this guy should be United #1 at some point. It’d be a shame if we lost him to another club, top top keeper who can become a mainstay.”

Henderson playing for Forest.
Soccer Football – Pre Season Friendly – Burton Albion v Nottingham Forest – Pirelli Stadium, Burton-on-Trent, Britain – July 12, 2022 Nottingham Forest’s Dean Henderson Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes

What now?

Now, it goes without saying that one pre-season friendly isn’t going to change the course of United’s goalkeeping conundrum and it was by no means a faultless performance from Henderson who didn’t cover himself in glory for Hertha’s goal.

But that’s not the point being made here. Rather, the video illustrates that Henderson offers something different to De Gea as a goalkeeper and could well be exactly what Ten Hag wants further down the line.

And the luxury for United is that they still have the power to bring him back…

Antony to Manchester United Advanced! Anthony Martial STAYING! (Football Terrace)

News Now - Sport News