Even though he was not able to show it during Sheffield United’s 3-0 win over Chelsea almost two weeks ago — you know, since we didn’t make him sweat at all — Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson is a pretty good goalkeeper. And at just 23 years old, we can also expect that he will be able to offer several years of good service for any team who make him their number one shot-stopper.
According to a report from Manchester Evening News, that is precisely what Chelsea want to do. While Henderson has discussed a new contract and a return to Old Trafford as United’s main goalkeeper — he has two years left with an option for a third — we want to entice the young man with a weekly salary of £170,000, more than doubling his current earnings, set at £70,000 per week.
United obviously do not want to lose someone who could very well replace David de Gea, especially such stinkers as the one he just produced in the 3-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinal. However, De Gea signed a new four-year deal just last September, while his backup Sergio Romero still has one year left in his contract.
In a way, Chelsea and United both find themselves between a rock and a hard place, tied down to massive long-term contracts with underperforming goalkeepers. Question is, who’s willing to bite the bullet and hand the keys over to Henderson?
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s “loyalty” to De Gea, combined with Kepa Arrizabalaga’s potential exit could open the path to Stamford Bridge for Henderson. Matters of course won’t be as simple as that, and Henderson would surely cost a pretty penny, especially with the “homegrown tax”. But if Chelsea are considering nine-digit sums for Jan Oblak, Henderson’s eventual price should be a relative pittance — especially if he can lock down the goalkeeper position for many years to come.