Goalkeepers David de Gea and Dean Henderson are both expected to stay at Manchester United this summer, despite competition for minutes likely to upset at least one of them.
De Gea has been United’s starting goalkeeper for ten years now but has found himself guilty of increasingly frequent dips in form recently, prompting some fans to call for 24-year-old Henderson to take his spot in the team.
Henderson hoped to see that happen last year but spent most of the campaign on the bench. He did make 13 Premier League appearances and looked to have won the battle as the season came to a close, only for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring De Gea back into the fold and chop and change between the two.
It’s a situation which doesn’t really work for anyone. De Gea’s £375,000-a-week wages are far too high for him to be anything other than an undisputed starter, while Henderson has made it clear he does not want to spend another season stagnating on the sidelines.
A departure for one of the goalkeepers felt imminent, but according to The Athletic, both are expected to remain at the club for the new season.
De Gea has confessed to Solskjaer that he wants to stay at the club to prove himself, while United officials have also been busy knocking back offers to take Henderson on loan. As of yet, there are no plans to let either go.
If this wasn’t messy enough, Tom Heaton has now been thrown into the mix. The 35-year-old returned to his boyhood club on a free transfer after leaving Aston Villa and is of the mindset that a spot in the first team is not an unrealistic dream for him.
Heaton impressed in United’s first pre-season friendly, a 2-1 win over Derby County on Sunday, after which Solskjaer confessed that the veteran was brought in as genuine competition for the other goalkeepers.
“Tom was very positive,” the boss said. “He’s here to give the other ones a bit of a challenge as well. He’s conducted himself so well throughout his career. I was just at the end of my career when he was coming up.
“I’m so happy we have him. Tom wants to play. He’s been unlucky with the injury last year. I think he would have been in the England squad if not. He’s got those ambitions.”