Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder says Manchester United could recall Dean Henderson from his loan before the season finishes.
Henderson’s temporary deal at Bramall Lane is set to expire on June 30. In normal circumstances, this would be well after the 2019/20 campaign had ended.
Yet due to the indefinite suspension of English football due to the coronavirus pandemic, that is no longer the case.
A plan dubbed ‘Project Restart’ has been put together by the Premier League to conclude the remaining 92 outstanding fixtures.
If the games are played then they will certainly extend beyond the date when Henderson would be due to return to Old Trafford.
Teams will be able to arrange extensions to loan contracts such as that which the goalkeeper has with the Blades. However, that will need to be approved by parent clubs.
Apparently, Man United might not give their permission for Henderson to remain at Bramall Lane for the final 10 league matches. That is because they are competing with Wilder’s side for European qualification.
Two points separate the fifth-placed Red Devils and the Blades – who also have a game in hand over them – in seventh. They are in direct competition for the final Champions League place.
Henderson has played a key role in that surprise success. The Blades have the second best defensive record in the division behind Liverpool, with the 23-year-old keeping 10 clean sheets.
Could Manchester United recall Henderson from his loan?
If Man United do decide to bring Henderson back, the ‘keeper wouldn’t be able to play for them under league rules. So it would purely be a tactic to destabilise the Blades if they were to do so.
“I personally think it would be morally correct to leave him playing for Sheffield United for the last 10 games of the season,” Wilder told beIN Sports.
“But listen, because of the legalities and the situation regarding expiry of loans, they might take that decision.
“We’re not a threat to Man U and I’m sure they’ll be happy with the players they’ve got to see them through the season.”
Wilder is being modest when saying his team aren’t a threat to the Red Devils. Yet the league table tells a different story and the 52-year-old knows that.
Now it remains to be seen what decision is made.