The big MM debate: Who keeps goal next year for Manchester United – De Gea or Henderson?

The great debate has started about who should take the number one jersey at Manchester United.

Despite the ‘Red Devils’ claiming a Champions League spot on the final day of the Premier League season, current number one David De Gea has come under pressure at times during the campaign, with some calls for Dean Henderson to replace him between the posts at Old Trafford next season.

Henderson, 23, has yet to make a first-team appearance for Manchester United, but has hit the headlines for his performances with loan club Sheffield United this season.

The young shot-stopper helped ‘the Blades’ to 9th in their first season back in the top-flight of English football.

Making 36 Premier League appearances for Sheffield United, Henderson, falls just two appearances short of David De Gea who played every single game for Manchester United.

This is due to the fact that Henderson wasn’t allowed to play in the matches against his parent club (Manchester United).

The most important stat for a goalkeeper is the number of clean sheets they keep in a season, and both De Gea and Henderson finished on the same number, with 13. This was only 3 behind eventual Golden Glove winner Ederson Santana de Moraes of Manchester City.

Both goalkeepers were made to work for their clean sheets though, as Spaniard De Gea made 96 saves in the Premier League season, whilst Henderson was called into action on one more occasion making 97 saves.

This saw Henderson have to make 2.69 saves per match, compared to De Gea who had to make 2.53 and it was only small margins when it came to save success rates. Henderson was the higher of the two with 74.62%, with De Gea’s success rate at 72.73%.

Goalkeepers over recent years have gone from being there as shot stoppers to having to add another side to their game, which is to be good with their feet and have the ability to play out from the back.

Dean Henderson outnumbered David De Gea this season in the passing department, as he made 934 passes compared to 786 made by De Gea. Despite making significantly more passes than his goalkeeping counterpart, Henderson’s pass completion rate was drastically lower than that of De Gea. Henderson completed just 36.72% of his passes whilst De Gea completed 74.43%.

Whilst there are only small margins separating the two in certain departments, the one highlighted area of concern is in the errors leading to goals from De Gea. The current United number one has made 3 errors that have led to goals in the Premier League this season, whilst he also made an error in the recent FA Cup semi-final match against Chelsea, which lead to Olivier Giroud scoring.

Henderson has one error to his name this season which came against champions Liverpool, when he allowed a shot from Gini Wijnaldum to go through his legs and ensure the Merseyside outfit left Bramhall Lane with all 3 points.

There’s no doubt that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big decision on his hands as to who gets the number one position at Old Trafford next season.

Despite a blip in form from David De Gea, the Spaniard has saved the ‘Red Devils’ on numerous occasions in recent seasons.

For his outstanding performances, the fans favourite has claimed the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award on four occasions, as well as being voted Player’s Player of the Year three times, showing just how good he has been for the club.

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Dean Henderson might have only played one season of Premier League football, but he has made the headlines with some superb performances for Sheffield United, which saw him claim Young Player of the Year this season.

Whilst there have been numerous rumours about his future, if Henderson does return to Old Trafford next season then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be dealt with a positive selection headache, as he will have two brilliant goalkeepers at his disposal to pick from.

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