Younger players do take a big risk when they go out on loan from the bigger clubs. They are leaving their comfort zone and making a move that could hamper their future prospects if it doesn’t work out.
Dean Henderson has been impressive for Sheffield United and played in every game of their promotion campaign last year, but it sounds like he’s not found it quite so easy at the top level.
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He was blamed for his part in the only goal in a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool today, and some of the comments from his manager were picked up by The Manchester Evening News.
Speaking about Henderson’s form, Chris Wilder said: “If he wants to be a professional footballer, these things are going to happen. But if he wants to play for the top teams, he wants to play for England then he needs to do better, he needs to concentrate more.”
He’s only 22 so has plenty of time to improve, and it’s also important to remember this is his first season actually playing in the top flight. He made a bad mistake but these things will happen with younger players, it’s just unfortunate that it ended up deciding the game.
It will be interesting to see if he has a long term future at Old Trafford after this season. You have to imagine that current number 1 David de Gea is pretty untouchable, but Henderson must think he’s as good as Sergio Romero and Lee Grant.
It might come down to what the coaching staff at United feel is best for his long term development. If he only gets to play a handful of times in the Carabao Cup then he might be better placed going on loan again to get further experience.
Hopefully he reacts well to Wilder’s strong words and proves he does belong at the top level.