Dean Henderson has become the first Sheffield United player to be called up by England since Brian Deane in 1992.
The goalkeeper, on loan from Manchester United, has been drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad to replace the injured Tom Heaton.
Henderson will be in contention to play in upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
This international recognition comes just ten days after the 22-year-old’s costly mistake against Liverpool. Henderson allowed a Georginio Wijnaldum shot through his legs as the Blades lost 1-0 in the Premier League.
At the time manager Chris Wilder refused to console his ‘keeper. In fact Wilder said Henderson would need to cut out such errors if he wanted to play for his country.
“I’m not going to put my arm round him,” the 51-year-old told Match Of The Day. “He wants to play at the highest level, he wants to play for Manchester United, he wants to play for England.
“He’s got to do better, he’s got to concentrate a little bit more.”
Dean Henderson England call-up justifies criticism
At the time some disagreed with Wilder’s approach. Most notably Natalie Sawyer said on her talkSPORT show that it was “dinosaur management.”
Many Blades fans jumped to the defence of Wilder and in truth there is previous evidence of this working. When Henderson made a similar mistake in last season’s defeat to Leeds United, his boss reacted in the same way.
“I’m not going to rub his head for him,” Wilder told the Yorkshire Evening Post after the 1-0 Championship loss to Leeds. “It’s part and parcel of being a professional footballer and especially a goalkeeper.”
Sound familiar? After those comments the Blades went on an 18-game unbeaten run and were eventually promoted. Henderson finished with a division best 21 clean sheets.
This time around the Red Devils loanee responded with a man of the match performance in the 0-0 draw at Watford.
Since the beginning of last season no stopper in England’s top four leagues have kept more clean sheets than Henderson’s 24. Wilder’s approach seems to be working just fine.