Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Post West Ham United
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Dean Henderson’s reported request to be allowed to leave Manchester United on loan in the January transfer window could be a blessing in disguise for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Englishman split the goalkeeper spot in United’s first-team with David De Gea last season.
It was Henderson’s first time playing for United following loan spells at Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United.
While Henderson conceded only 12 goals in his 13 Premier League outings last term, it was a mixed time for the 24-year-old.
He had a particularly challenging game against Liverpool towards the end of the campaign, conceding four goals.
Despite that it was though that Solskjaer was ready to make Henderson his first choice over De Gea heading into this season.
Those plans failed to materialise though, after Henderson was hit by a nasty bout of Covid-19, which has left him unable to even make the bench so far.
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While the Englishman has steadily been working his way back to fitness, his only playing time before Wednesday’s Carabao Cup club with West Ham came in two Premier League 2 matches.
De Gea has also been back to his brilliant best between the sticks, saving an injury time penalty last weekend to secure a win at the Hammers for United.
As a result, The Sun report that Henderson now wants to make an exit from Old Trafford on loan in January.
While some may see this as a blow to Solskjaer with the Norwegian having put so much faith in him, it could actually turn out to be better for all parties in the long run.
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First, it will allow Solskjaer to avoid the problem of having to pick between two number ones when Henderson does return to full fitness.
Solskjaer’s attempts to split the number one shirt last season were unconvincing and a regular starter in goal will bring better cohesion in defence.
Following his mixed spell at United’s first choice in the Premier League, many observers began to believe that Henderson would benefit from a loan spell at a team competing high up the table.
With Henderson now happy to depart, Solskjaer has been presented with the ideal opportunity to hand his keeper some much-needed extra experience.
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The 24-year-old will be able to develop far better being first choice at a club not competing for the title than he would warming the bench for United.
With United’s full focus being on the Premier League and Champions League, it is unlikely that he would be able to get the minutes required to fully aid his development at Old Trafford.
With De Gea’s contract running until 2023, Henderson having the experience of another six months as a number one under his belt could be crucial when the time comes for United to part with his rival.
Solskjaer then should fully embrace Henderson’s request to be granted a loan move as it will benefit both United and the Englishman in the long run.
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