The goalkeeper has seen playing time limited since returning from loan but could be in line for more minutes against West Ham in the FA Cup
Dean Henderson is ready to step up and play for Manchester United more regularly after impressing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in training.
The England international has been on the periphery this season having returned to the club after a successful loan spell at Sheffield United last term but he could be in line for more minutes after impressing his manager with his development.
Henderson is likely to get another chance to prove his credentials when United host West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round at Old Trafford on Tuesday night after David de Gea’s mistakes contributed to a 3-3 draw with Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.
What has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said?
About Henderson getting a chance: “He’s played well when he’s got the chance. For me, he’s developed his game, I know he’s not played as many games as he would’ve done last season – you see every game when he plays and in training you see his improvement, he’s working hard on a couple of aspects that we’ve spoken about. And I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work rate.
“He’s not the most patient guy – he wants to play every game because he knows he will perform well so long may it continue because he’s improved since he’s come here.”
When has Henderson played?
Henderson has started nine games this season and made 10 appearances in total after coming off the bench when he replaced De Gea at half-time in the win against Southampton at St Mary’s in November.
He has been favoured in the cup competitions, starting all six games in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season, while chances in the league have been limited to just two starts, one against West Ham and another against former loan club Sheffield United. He also started in the 2-1 defeat away to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.
In his 10 appearances across all competitions, he has conceded nine goals.
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The Spaniard has appeared undroppable, despite his high-profile mistakes and with Henderson breathing down his neck. He was culpable for both Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dominic Calvert-Lewin goals at Old Trafford on Saturday night and, while Solskjaer would not blame his first-choice goalkeeper, he did warn all his players that none of them were assured of a place in the starting XI.
“Every player has to earn the right to earn his place of course,” Solskjaer replied when asked if De Gea’s place is untouchable. “We’re a squad with competition and that applies to absolutely every single one in the team – and that is the same for every single one of us.”
But whether or not Solskjaer sticks to his word or not will remain to be seen. Henderson will more than likely get his chance against West Ham on Tuesday night but if he impresses will Solskjaer put his money where his mouth is and give him another start in the league? He’s champing at the bit to play more but De Gea is untouchable, especially when it comes to league games.