Dean Henderson put in yet another assured display as Sheffield United won out 1-0 at Crystal Palace yesterday.
Despite being relatively quiet, Henderson did what was needed of him when it came. A number of reaction saves in the second half, in particular, catching the eye.
However, Henderson never really looked troubled. It is an impression he has given for much of the season. Barring an error against Liverpool at home, the Man United loanee has been pretty much faultless.
It’s now nine clean-sheets for the Blades number one. That puts him at the top of the charts, alongside Liverpool’s Alisson. Furthermore, he’s conceded just 23 goals, yet again, sitting behind the Liverpool star.
Henderson is integral to United now. All the talk prior to this January window has been how the club cannot afford him on a permanent deal.
But with the recent surge in spending and Premier League survival all but assured, do the Blades have renewed hope of landing the England man on a permanent deal?
You just never know…
When January rolled around a month ago, few expected Sheffield United to do what they did. They added five players. Jack Rodwell signed for free, while Jack Robinson arrived for a minimal fee.
Loan signings Panos Retsos and Richairo Zivkovic were also confirmed. However, the big news was the reported £22m splurge on midfielder, Sander Berge. It was a statement of intent from the Blades and has captured the imagination of United fans.
And it’s that £22m signing of Berge that should give the Blades hope of capturing Henderson. It proves that Prince Abdullah is willing to back Chris Wilder. In a time when many thought money would be tight, the United owner has gone full-tilt to support his gaffer.
It bodes well, then, that if Wilder wants someone enough, his board will back him.
The ground-work has already been done
Unlike most players, Dean Henderson wouldn’t need any convincing to make the move to Sheffield.
He’s completely adored by the United fans and you can see the love he has for the badge. It’s almost unheard of for a loan player and, in fairness to him, is brilliant to see.
Of course, Manchester United will probably demand a hefty chunk of change should they sell. But Henderson has already admitted he doesn’t want to go back to warm the bench. With David De Gea and Sergio Romero still under contract, there’s every chance Henderson would be doing just that.
England is the next spot to cement for the stopper. On current form, he might well be number one by the time the Euros come around.
He won’t want to sacrifice that spot once he gets it. Playing regularly, then, will be key. That’s something he will get at Sheffield United, 100% guaranteed.
It will be interesting to see it pan out. But whereas everyone might have been convinced the permanent signing of Dean Henderson was a complete no-go, times are changing at Bramall Lane and it might just happen.
Blades fans, of course, will be keeping everything crossed that their hope becomes a reality.