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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised goalkeeper David De Gea for his strong start to the campaign and revealed Dean Henderson needs more minutes with the Under-23s before he can make a first-team return.
De Gea has played every minute of the season so far, keeping a clean sheet against Wolves in a game in which he was also awarded Man of the Match, after a world-class double save from Romain Saiss.
Tom Heaton has arrived over the summer to boost our goalkeeping department, which Ole is pleased with, but Henderson is still working his way back following a lengthy COVID related lay-off.
Henderson made 26 appearances last season, but Solskjaer admits that the 24-year-old will need to get back up to speed before he can consider giving him game-time.
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“I think David has started really well, it’s just unfortunate for Dean with COVID and of course the illness, but he’s getting better and he’s getting some games,” said the Norwegian on Thursday.
“Dean will probably play more Under-23s games to just catch up with what he’s lost and I’m very pleased with David and his attitude and everything.
“In general I’m very pleased with the goalkeeping department. I won’t say here that I’m going to keep David going or Dean’s going to come in,” added the United boss, in response to being asked who would be his number one.
For Henderson, it’s been a frustrating few months to say the least.
He had to withdraw from England’s Euro 2020 squad during the tournament due to a hip problem, before then contracting coronavirus in the midst of pre-season.
The Academy graduate has returned to training over the last few weeks and took another step on his journey back to regular football by featuring for Neil Wood’s side against Arsenal last Saturday.
With De Gea likely to continue in goal for Sunday’s visit to West Ham, Ole has emphasised that all is still to play for in terms of solidifying a place between the sticks.
With United’s busy September and October fixture list no doubt at the back of the Norwegian’s mind, players will be looking to seize upon their chance when called upon.
“David has shown his qualities, so it’s a decision to be made further along the line when Dean is 100 per cent,” added Ole.
“Now he’s just working to get back to full fitness and his best form.”