According to reports from ESPN, Daily Mail and Telegraph, Chelsea and several other teams, including PSG and Spurs most prominently, are interested in acquiring Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson in the summer.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper has been on loan at Sheffield United for the last two seasons. In the first, he helped them achieve promotion with the Championship’s joint-best defensive record. In the second, he’s backstopping the Premier League’s second most stingy defense. No one has kept more clean sheets than Henderson (though Alisson also has 9 in 8 fewer matches), and it’s a similar situation in terms of save percentage, where only Alisson’s better. Henderson is also in the top five in all advanced goalkeeping stats, including post-shot xG plus/minus. (Kepa, as we know, is in the bottom two or three in all those.)
Henderson’s statistics and overall play have unsurprisingly put him in the conversation not just for the England starting job, but for any big team in need of improvement at the position. PSG and Spurs are both relying in aging and fading options (Keylor Navas and Hugo Lloris, respectively, both 33), and Chelsea obviously are dealing with the Kepa situation. While criticism of Kepa can often be over the top, we do at the very least need some proper competition for him. Meanwhile, Sheffield United are hoping to keep him for another season as well.
But things get complicated from there, since Manchester United hold the keys to their former academy goalkeeper’s future still. They apparently still view him as a future number-one, even though they recently extended David de Gea until 2024. Henderson’s only under contract until 2022, which makes the upcoming summer a crucial period.
Would United entertain the idea of selling to a top-four/-six rival (and that includes Sheffield United as well right now)? Are Chelsea really ready to cut our losses on Arrizabalaga? (Henderson & Baxter, 2020 — you heard it here first!)
At least Henderson’s a more palatable and promising target than, say, Nick Pope...