Dean Henderson: How future Man Utd number one is now in transfer limbo

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 6 Feb 2023 20:29 GMT
  • 2 min read
Den Henderson in action for Nottingham Forest.

Nottingham Forest believed they had pulled off a significant transfer coup when they signed Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United last summer but the goalkeeper’s future is already in doubt after an impressive debut from Keylor Navas.

Henderson was one of Forest’s first signings following their promotion to the Premier League, having agreed to join the club after being told by Erik ten Hag that David de Gea would be Man Utd’s number one this season.

While Henderson has been an integral part of his side’s campaign so far, the 25-year-old suffered an injury last month which will keep him out of action for a number of weeks, prompting Forest to sign Keylor Navas in January.

NUMBER ONE: Man Utd's goalkeeping options next season

The arrival of Navas on loan from Paris Saint-Germain was arguably a bigger coup than Henderson’s signing in the summer, with the veteran shot stopper showcasing his pedigree by leading Forest to a 1-0 win against Leeds on his debut.

Forest boss Steve Cooper refused to be drawn on whether Henderson would reclaim his place in goal when he was back to fitness, telling Nottinghamshire Live: "We'll cross that bridge there and then.”

With a three-time Champions League winner now between the sticks, Forest may see no incentive to reintegrate Henderson and a decline in game-time could also hamper his future at United.

What does the future hold for Henderson?

Henderson has been touted as a long-term replacement for De Gea at Old Trafford and came close to ousting the Spaniard in the 2020-21 season, making 26 appearances in all competitions.

However, he fell out of favour with previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ten Hag was clear upon his arrival in the summer that he would proceed with De Gea as his number one.

De Gea is now believed to be in talks to extend his contract at United and the club are also believed to be scouting goalkeepers in the transfer market, meaning Henderson may not be given the chance to prove his worth for his parent club.

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Another spell at Forest next season is still possible as there is no indication Navas will remain past the summer but an injury has come at the worst possible time for Henderson and he now faces a scenario where he has no obvious option as a first choice going forward.