Dean Henderson swipes at Man Utd with star left ‘fuming’ over false promises – ‘Criminal’

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Dean Henderson has accused Manchester United of rowing back on a promise that he would be the club’s No 1 goalkeeper last season in an explosive interview. Henderson has joined Nottingham Forest on loan for the campaign and has told being forced to sit in reserve at Old Trafford last season was ‘criminal’. 

Henderson had emerged as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice goalkeeper in 2020-21 but an injury meant that David de Gea started the season. The 25-year-old failed to make a Premier League appearance last term. 

De Gea played in the majority of the Red Devils’ matches, with Henderson featuring just three times across all competitions. He has now candidly explained that he wasted a campaign after rejecting several loan moves in the summer of 2021. 

“I turned so many good loans down last summer for that reason (being told he would be No 1), and they wouldn’t let me go. It was frustrating. To sit there and waste 12 months is criminal really, at my age. I was fuming,” the former Sheffield United loanee told TalkSPORT.

“I tried to join Forest all before [Erik Ten Hag joined] — I told the hierarchy I need to play football. I don’t want to be here playing second fiddle. I was almost gone before the manager came in and I haven’t spoke to him since.”

Asked if he sought new head coach Ten Hag’s advice before sealing his move to the newly promoted club, Henderson added: “No. I didn’t really want the manager to come in and be able to see me in training because I knew he’d probably want to keep me.” 

Henderson remains contracted to United and will return to Old Trafford at the end of the 2022-23 season. Forest could not negotiate an option to buy clause into his loan contract. 

De Gea ended up being one of the club’s best players in a dismal campaign for the club. However, the Spaniard was denied a record fifth club player of the year award as their poor results prompted staff to scrap the annual awards ceremony. 

The 31-year-old will continue as the club’s first choice following the appointment of Dutchman Ten Hag from Ajax. United are yet to sign a replacement for Henderson, leaving Tom Heaton as De Gea’s only competition. 

Asked in July if he had been told to change his game by the possession-orientated Ten Hag, De Gea said: No, not really. I mean, obviously, with different managers, you have to adapt to the way they want us to play.

“But I used to play like this in the national team for many years, so I’m comfortable to be honest. We want to build from the back, I want to be ready to give options to the players to play from the back and of course, be ready for the long balls. And the most important thing for me is saving shots, making the saves and helping the team.”

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