Sheffield United stopper Dean Henderson has revealed how close he came to joining Leeds United.
The Manchester United youngster is currently in his second spell at Bramall Lane. After keeping 21 clean-sheets last term, he already has five in the Premier League.
Henderson has quickly established himself as something of a cult hero at The Lane. Home fans love him, while he’s not averse to winding up the away support.
However, it could have been so different for Henderson. The ‘keeper revealed in an interview with United’s match-day programme, UTB, that he very nearly joined Yorkshire rivals, Leeds.
“I’d been down to Leeds, and it looked as though I was signing there,” Henderson said (Blades official website).
“Bristol City were very keen as well, and then my agent rang me and said that Sheffield United had been on the back burner. I said to him ‘Why haven’t you told me?’, because I really wanted to go there.”
Henderson’s decision to choose Bramall Lane proved a fruitful one. Coincidentally, he did make a mistake against Leeds last season in a home defeat. Although, Henderson had the last laugh as he helped United finish second, securing a return to the Premier League in the process.
And Henderson revealed it was a chat with Chris Wilder that, ultimately, made his mind up.
“The gaffer rang me, we spoke on the phone for an hour, and to be honest I was walking there before I even put the phone down. I was just buzzing to come to Bramall Lane.”
The right decision
How do you even question a decision like this? The only thing that runs through your head as a Blades fan is ‘what might have been?’.
Henderson has proven himself time and time again in a Blades shirt. He’s bounced back from set-backs to cement himself as one of the best United have had in recent times. So much so, we compared him to some of his peers, here.
The England recognition he has got is just the beginning for the stopper.
In Dean Henderson, Sheffield United have a ‘keeper who oozes confidence and simply wants to get to the top.
Leeds United, on the other hand, are left pondering a case of ‘what if’.