David De Gea or Dean Henderson? Who should be Man Utd first-choice goalkeeper? Big Debate

David De Gea or Dean Henderson? Who should be Man Utd first-choice goalkeeper? Big Debate

Matthew Dunn

Dean Henderson has had a brilliant season and is clearly going to be a top goalkeeper. But for all his evident confidence, he is not better equipped to be Manchester United’s no. 1 than the man who has been in Spain’s net for the last six years.

Or, for that matter, somebody who has kept goal 96 times for Argentina, because Sergio Romero may feel he has a say in this too.

Being an impressive goalkeeper with a small club does not automatically mean you can play in the spotlight of the big six. Richard Wright at Arsenal, Chris Kirkland at Liverpool, Marc Bosnich at Manchester United. All made their names at unfashionable clubs but failed to build on that when they hit the big time.

Building a goalkeeper takes time, generally, and with the right career path Henderson could become one of the best.

Manchester City signed a young goalkeeper from Shrewsbury, sent him on loan, gave him a spell in the first team and then sent him on loan again and only after that was Joe Hart considered of the required standard.

Henderson should bide his time. He may one day be a great United goalkeeper, but next season is still too early for him. De Gea ia allowed a few more clangers like the one against Spurs before he should be made to fear for his place.

Neil Squires

Dean Henderson. He has proven himself at Sheffield United this season where he has been an important figure in the club’s overachievements after promotion.

You cannot judge a keeper on one moment – and it would be unfair to judge David De Gea solely on his howler against Spurs which sent Roy Keane into meltdown – but he does not command the confidence he once did.

Henderson, by contrast, has been a rock for the Blades. His save percentage is higher than De Gea’s this season – 76.4 to 71.5, he has made more per game and he has let in fewer goals overall.

At 23, he looks the part already as an international goalkeeper.

Man Utd news: David De Gea and Dean Henderson are fighting to be the first-choice goalkeeper

Man Utd news: David De Gea and Dean Henderson are fighting to be the first-choice goalkeeper (Image: GETTY)

Alex Harris

Dean Henderson is evidently on the path to becoming Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper – it’s just a matter of when, not if, he usurps David De Gea.

If all the pieces fall into place then a repeat of this season’s arrangements is the ideal outcome for all parties for the next 12 months.

Sheffield United in the Champions League or Europa League would offer Henderson the perfect platform to continue his development so another year on loan at Bramall Lane would make perfect sense.

De Gea would have a season to prove his worth or – at the very worst – drive up his transfer value and attract suitors.

It would also delay a difficult decision for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The United boss’ loyalty towards De Gea is admirable but a changing of the guard between the sticks is on the cards.

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Matt Atherton

Sorry David, but your time is up. Although De Gea still has a robust YouTube reel of his best career saves, he’s no longer what he was.

A few months of bad form is forgivable, but this streak has been going on for a few years now – both before and after his new mega-contract.

As De Gea falls down the Premier League goalkeeper charts – and is probably somewhere between mid-table and the relegation zone in that chart – Henderson has emerged as a superb young talent.

Given the chance, he could be featuring in goal at Old Trafford for a solid decade. He should also be given the No 1 jersey at United because they risk letting him slip through their fingers during the transfer window.

There will be a number of clubs that play in Europe that would jump at the chance of signing Henderson. Why would he wait around?

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Man Utd news: David De Gea made an error against Tottenham last Friday

Man Utd news: David De Gea made an error against Tottenham last Friday (Image: GETTY)

Luke Gardener

There’s an argument to say next season would be too early for Dean Henderson but to me it is a no-brainer to make him Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper.

His exploits at Sheffield United this year have proven his ability and he would have been England’s No. 1 at Euro 2020 this summer ahead of Jordan Pickford.

On the other hand, David De Gea is really struggling and needs to be taken out of the firing line.

This isn’t just a dip in form, his performances have been poor for some time now and he is nowhere near the level he was when he was being linked to the likes of Real Madrid.

It’s a tough decision but the best managers make tough calls and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should put his full backing behind Henderson.

Gideon Brooks

Between Roy Keane’s spluttering criticism and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s unquestioned backing probably sits the truth about David de Gea.

He is neither a liability as the combative former midfielder claimed nor is he the best goalkeeper in the world as his manager suggested.

Yet for all that it is easy to think of at least three, possibly four, goalkeepers better than him in the Premier League alone, Henderson would not be there for me. Yet.

He may turn out to be in time but given United have invested plenty in him since he joined their academy and he is potentially good he is still prone to mistakes. He still needs time.

Going to work as No 2 at United might upset Sergio Romero who continues to do nothing wrong when called on (he has conceded three goals in 14 games in all competitions this season).

But it would offer Henderson’s best chance to prove to Solskjaer on a daily basis he is ready to take the gloves at Old Trafford.

Stick with De Gea for now, send Henderson out on loan for another year then have him back and let the pair go head-to-head.

Man Utd news: Dean Henderson is pushing hard for an opportunity at Old Trafford

Man Utd news: Dean Henderson is pushing hard for an opportunity at Old Trafford (Image: GETTY)

Jim Holden

The goalkeeping situation for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a classic dilemma – the kind of 50-50 call which the very best bosses get right.

There is much sense in sticking with David De Gea, an international class keeper even with the increase in errors of the past 18 months. The Spaniard is still one of the best around; he makes brilliant saves on a regular basis.

There is also a strong argument for United to take the plunge with Dean Henderson, a clearly a keeper of high talent, and at the moment looking like the long-term England No.1 for the next decade.

At present, De Gea probably edges it as the superior keeper. But the danger for United is that if they don’t make Henderson their regular No.1 now they may lose him for the future. He is too good to warm the bench at Old Trafford or anywhere else.

My feeling would be to invest in the promise of Henderson. But this is not an easy call for Solskjaer, who has to win matches right now.

Stuart Ballard

De Gea – for now

Football is probably more reactionary than ever, especially heading into a summer transfer window but David de Gea still hasn’t had a terrible season.

In fact, his numbers stack up against Dean Henderson in save percentage and overall saves.

It’s easy to forget De Gea’s heroic 11 saves in the 1-0 win over Tottenham back in January 2019 or his performance in the 2-0 derby win over Manchester City back in March as just a few examples.

Henderson has been fantastic for Sheffield United and deserves every right to be in the same conversation as De Gea, but United need to find out whether he can sustain those levels so another year out on loan would be the ideal situation for everyone involved.

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Published at Wed, 24 Jun 2020 12:22:00 +0000