Manchester United made the decision to not send Dean Henderson out on loan again for the 2020/21 season, instead handing him a new and improved contract and giving him the chance to compete for the number one spot with David de Gea.
Sure, he has yet to feature in the Premier League for United this campaign, but his presence has helped push De Gea on. The Spaniard has put in a series of consistent and impressive displays this term after suffering a troubling loss of form in recent years.
But this has made Henderson’s chances of displacing De Gea as the number one even slimmer. With regular game time crucial ahead of the rescheduled Euros next summer, We recently learned that the Englishman could be sent out on loan in January. England boss Gareth Southgate is a big fan of Henderson, and he could be made the first choice at international level if he’s able to play regularly.
But with Premier League clubs spoken for, it could mean that Henderson may have to consider moving abroad in order to secure the playing time he needs.
But where would be best for Henderson to continue his development and prove he’s worthy of the England – and indeed Man Utd – number one spot? Here, we takes a look….
Sheffield United moved to sign Aaron Ramsdale as Henderson’s replacement when it became clear he would be going back to Old Trafford.
But the £18.5m signing has struggled during the early part of the 2020/21 season. Ramsdale has come in for plenty of criticism and is simply failing to fill the void left by Henderson, having conceded 14 goals in just eight Premier League games.
The return of fan favourite Henderson on loan could take the pressure off the 22-year-old, while for Henderson would benefit from the regular game time and chance to help the Blades rediscover their 2019/20 form.
However, a return to Bramall Lane sits at the bottom of this list as fees – including the outlay on Ramsdale – and wages will likely prove to be issues. Henderson should also be looking to take the next step forward in his career rather than going back to familiar surroundings.
Suitability Rating: 3/10
A move to Spain is a possibility for Henderson, but with the top teams already well stocked in the goalkeeping department, the most likely destination would be Real Betis.
Former Man City shot stopper Claudio Bravo currently occupies the starting spot, but now 37 and having already spent time on the sidelines through injury in 2020/21, Betis should consider a loan move for Henderson.
La Liga could suit Henderson’s style of play with his ability to play out from the back, but his wages would likely also prove an issue. But it would be in United’s best interests to cover the majority of his pay packet to make any deal happen.
Suitability Rating: 6/10
Porto snapped up Agustin Marchesin back in the summer of 2019, with the goalkeeper making the number one spot his own. But soon to be 33, Porto must start planning for the future and the addition of Henderson on loan would go a long way to doing just that.
The United man’s time at the club would allow the likes of Diogo Costa the chance to develop and eventually challenge for a starting spot. Having conceded ten goals in just seven league games so far in 2020/21 as well, Porto are in need of strengthening their backline, and Henderson would definitely help in this department.
It’s an option that would offer Champions League football, too.
Suitability Rating: 6/10
Man Utd recently did business with Werder as Tahith Chong departed for the Bundesliga on loan. And while Jirí Pavlenka has enjoyed a solid start to the 2020/21 campaign, United could look to reach out to Werder again with regards to Henderson.
Werder are capable of challenging for a top-half finish this term, and potentially even fighting for a European spot. However, in order to do so, they must convert some of their draws into wins, which is where Henderson comes in.
Capable of leading the unit and organising the defence, Henderson could help tighten up the back line and push them further up the table. With Chong also at the club, Henderson would have a teammate to help him settle in and adjust.
Suitability Rating: 6.5/10
The international break couldn’t have come at a better time for Benfica. They have conceded an alarming amount of goals, with the defence being exploited time and time again.
As a result, there have been calls for stopper Odysseas Vlachodimos – who was linked with a move to Newcastle – to be dropped. Sure, it hasn’t been completely his fault, but the lack of communication and organisation at the back hasn’t helped matters.
Henderson could help transform the Benfica back line, with his confidence and shot-stopping abilities. Of course, this move wouldn’t come without any risks and it remains to be seen if Benfica would even consider a loan move, but change is required for the Portuguese giants – they simply cannot continue as they are.
Suitability Rating: 7.5/10
The best choice, and it’s not even close.
We has learned that a move to Scotland with Celtic is an option for Henderson – and it makes plenty of sense for all parties involved.
Celtic have already conceded 11 goals this season after just 12 league games, whereas they let in just 19 in total in 30 matches in 2019/20. Neil Lennon is yet to be convinced by either Vasilis Barkas or Scott Bain, while the defence remains unsettled.
With summer arrival Barkas failing to deliver, why not turn to Henderson on a temporary basis? Barkas isn’t a bad goalkeeper, instead he’s simply in need of time to adjust to his new surroundings and the addition of Henderson on loan would allow for this.
For Henderson, he would benefit from the chance to play regularly for a huge club competing for trophies and constantly striving for success. It’s a move that would benefit every party involved.
Suitability Rating: 9/10