Mark Bosnich has backed Dean Henderson to take over from David de Gea as Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper by the end of next season.
De Gea, 29, formerly regarded as one of the finest shot-stoppers in world football, has suffered a dramatic dip in form over the last 12 months and is now fighting for his United future following Henderson’s return.
Earlier this month, Henderson put pen to paper on a new five-year contract at Old Trafford after impressing across a two-year loan spell with Sheffield United and the 23-year-old now feels he’s ready to challenge De Gea for the number one spot.
And unless De Gea starts playing ‘out of his skin’ again for United, Bosnich believes Henderson will be the man in possession of the gloves before too long.
‘The fact that he’s signed such a long-term deal, he’s obviously part of their long-term plans,’ former United ‘keeper Bosnich told Sky Sports.
‘Whether or not it’ll be at the start of the season, I think at some time during next season – unless De Gea starts off and he’s doing absolutely fantastic – but I do believe that Dean Henderson will take over.
‘Obviously De Gea, over the last 12 months, hasn’t been quite the goalkeeper he is and I believe that now the contract is done and signed, if De Gea continues his in and out form, that Dean Henderson will take over.
‘The only thing that will stop that is De Gea performing out of his skin if he starts again – and that’s only good for the club either way.’
Henderson is relishing the chance to prove himself at United after emerging as one of the Premier League’s top young goalkeepers across the 2019/20 campaign.
‘The pathway that I have been on for the past five years has been fantastic for my development and the invaluable loan period at Sheffield United has been part of that,’ the English shot-stopper said.
‘The goalkeeping department at United is excellent; there are three top-level goalkeepers who have achieved so much in the game and I look forward to working with the group. The faith that the manager and the club have shown in me with this contract means a lot to me and will continue my progression as a goalkeeper.
‘I’ll be giving everything to improve every day so that I can play as many games as possible for this great club.
‘Now I am looking forward to joining up with the England squad and then preparing for the season ahead.‘
‘We are in a strong position within the goalkeeping department and that gives us the competition for places that we are looking for in the squad.
‘Dean is another great example of the type of player who has come through the Academy and truly understands what it means to be at Manchester United.
‘We are all looking forward to working with Dean and continuing to develop his talent.‘