Manchester United keeper Henderson: I'd be playing in League One if I hadn't gone on loan

Dean Henderson Man Utd 2021-22Getty Images

Dean Henderson says he would never have made it to the Manchester United senior team had he not been sent out on loan to experience football in the lower leagues.

The goalkeeper worked his way up the English football pyramid, from the National League to League Two, League One and then the Championship before Man Utd gave him a place as backup to David De Gea.

The 25-year-old says his loans to Stockport, Grimsby, Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United were integral to his development and the reason he got to where he is today.

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What has been said?

 "I remember going [to Stockport] when I was a young kid, " he told Manchester United's website.

"To be fair, I absolutely loved it. It was tough, really hard, as a young boy. Going into that division was an eye-opener for me. I’m thankful for the opportunity given to me by the manager at the time, Jim Gannon, for sticking by me because I didn’t play too well.

"I was really getting smashed on crosses, kicking the ball 80 yards on to the striker’s head and, if I didn’t do so, the manager was screaming at me from the touchline. It stood me in good stead and I really appreciate the opportunity they gave me.

“I think my debut, in the first five minutes, their big striker said: ‘Stick it on the goalie, he’s pooping himself’. I thought: ‘Right mate, I’m coming for this’. So I made my mind up I was coming for it and, before I even got there, he flicked it over my head. These are the things you learn and move on. It was great for me.

“It's why I'm sitting here today. If I didn't [go out on loan], I'd probably be in League One now, just going out on my first loan. I fought for it and I stand by it, the best decision of my life."

How many games has Henderson played?

Henderson made his senior debut for United in September 2020 and went on to make 13 Premier League appearances that season.

He has not played in the English top-flight this term, but has featured once in each of the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

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