Dean Henderson’s nascent career hasn’t really had too many bumps in the road so far.
After a few spells in the lower leagues, the youngster has enjoyed two stellar seasons with Sheffield United, and after a patient wait, he finally has the chance to claim Manchester United’s number one spot in David’s absence. by Gea.
However, United’s first-leg draw with Milan saw him come under fire for his role in Simon Kjaer’s late equalizer.
In truth, very little was mentioned about the dangerous conditions in Manchester a week ago, with the pouring rain likely explaining Henderson’s poor attempt to stop the Danish defender’s late header, however, as a goalkeeper at a high level, he will have to prove that he has the mental stability and the attitude to bounce back from such mistakes.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side traveled to Milan on Thursday with Henderson forced to deal effectively with his demons as he clashed with the Serie A giants again, and the 24-year-old made a huge step forward to prove he had the learning and developing mentality. of his mistakes.
The United goalkeeper showed no signs of nervousness as he clashed with the side who last week took advantage of possibly their biggest United shirt mistake so far, coming out with confidence in his line early to ease the pressure the home side was starting to build. .
The only time his nightmare at Old Trafford threatened to lift his ugly head was when Alexis Saelemaekers unleashed a shot from the edge of the area. The effort was hit well and nothing more, but Henderson chose to parry the ball away from danger instead of rounding it as he should have.
Of course, critics undoubtedly jumped to their feet to berate his decision to take the ball off goal, but if anything he should be applauded for admitting he had already made a mistake in the tie. that could have cost his side, so stick with that. at the bases and keep the ball away from danger instead of potentially dropping another clanger by sending it back into the zone.
Game management is an important part of the game of any player, especially a young and particularly a young goalkeeper.
In a position where almost any mistake you make will lead to a goal, arguably the hardest part of getting to the top as an elite goalie is possessing the ability to bounce back from your mistakes and recognize when. you should play it safe rather than taking unnecessary risks.
Henderson’s display at San Siro had everything you could ask for from a rookie scorer looking to prove his credentials after the first big mistake of his career at United, and his old boy Red Devils second-half stoppage , Zlatan Ibrahimovic, got it. brilliant 1-0 victory for her team as they progressed to the last eight in the Europa League.
Suddenly that late error against Milan in the first leg seems absolutely irrelevant, with United emerging as the winner of the last draw of the last 16 games, and Henderson’s display in Italy is largely the reason for his error. is now just a minor blemish on its season rather than a catastrophic mistake.