Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, on loan at Nottingham Forest, has made a scathing assessment of his “criminal” season at Old Trafford last year.
Henderson said he was promised the United No 1 jersey after his club form in 2020/21, which had seen him talked about as unseating Jordan Pickford as England’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of the European Championships last summer.
However, after returning early from the summer tournament with Covid, the then 24-year-old failed to make a single Premier League appearance for the club under either Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Ralf Rangnick, and has subsequently been usurped in the England squad by Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale. A season on the bench left Henderson about his treatment at Old Trafford, and he said:
“The conversation I had, coming out of the Euro squad, was that you’re coming back here to be the number one goalkeeper. I got Covid – unfortunately, no one followed through with anything they told me. I turned so many good loans down last summer, 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.” Now on loan at Forest, Henderson looks certain to start their season opener with Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday, as the Trees return to the Premier League for the first time since 1999.
On signing for the club last month, the goalkeeper called his discussions with manager Steve Cooper “outstanding” ahead of his decision to move to the City Ground, and told Sky Sports News he felt like a “caged animal” now unleashed ahead of the new season.
He told Sky Sports News: “I can’t wait to get back out there. For me personally, being a caged animal for the last year, to get out there and actually play in front of a full St James’ Park, being the underdogs, is sensational.
“I love playing, the manager has been fantastic with me. I want to play for him. He’s shown some good trust in me and …