It was six months ago when Dean Henderson made his last Premier League appearance for Manchester United.
Looking at the current situation, barring an injury to David de Gea, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the England international will make a top-flight appearance for the Reds in the next six months either.
It’s been a frustrating period for the academy graduate after pulling out of England’s European Championship squad with a hip injury and then contracting Covid-19.
The virus thwarted Henderson’s chances of stealing a march on de Gea during pre-season and ever since then the 24-year-old has been on the back foot.
With only two Premier League 2 appearances for the club’s under-23 side and a Carabao Cup start to his name this season, Henderson must be becoming increasingly frustrated with his lack of first team action.
January loan crucial for Henderson
There has been the odd high-profile mistake being made by de Gea, most notably the Bernardo Silva goal at the weekend and the Josip Ilicic shot four days prior.
But on the whole, the Spaniard has been back to his best and has saved Manchester United, time and time again this season already.
With Tom Heaton signed in the summer, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the backup to grant Henderson a Premier League loan move in January.
The Sun report a 18 month loan to Newcastle is even a possibility.
Otherwise, it will be a wasted year for Henderson which doesn’t benefit his development.
The Sun have reported that Newcastle are keen on taking the former Sheffield United goalkeeper on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
But the Mail are reporting that Henderson will ask to leave at the end of the season if he cannot reclaim his number one spot from de Gea, but accepts he is unlikely to go in January.
If Henderson was playing week in, week out in the Premier League, the chances are he would have been named ahead of Sam Johnstone who is currently playing in the Championship with West Brom.
But with Aaron Ramsdale, who replaced Henderson at Bramhall Lane last season, in fine form at Arsenal and Jordan Pickford Gareth Southgate’s number one, Henderson will have one eye on making the 2022 Qatar World Cup squad.
After having to pull out of the Euros squad, Henderson won’t want to miss out on the chance of going to a World Cup.
But with competition for places heating up, he may have to seek a permanent move away from Old Trafford in the summer to maximise his chances of getting into Southgate’s 23-man squad.
It was only eight months ago when Henderson was embarking on a nine-game Premier League run in the United side, but things have dramatically changed and it looks like January cannot come soon enough for United’s number two.
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