Henderson sends statement of intent to Man United teammate De Gea

Dean Henderson made a crucial stop to deny Tom Lockyer as Manchester United went into the final 10 minutes of its League Cup third-round tie with a slender 1-0 lead.

Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.   -  Getty Images

Dean Henderson's bid to replace David de Gea as Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper got off to a solid start as he made a key save in his belated debut for the club in its 3-0 win at Luton Town in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Henderson was one of 10 changes to the United team after a disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday in its opening game of the new Premier League campaign.

The 23-year-old, returning to the club after a loan spell at Sheffield United, made a crucial stop to deny Tom Lockyer as United went into the final 10 minutes of its third-round tie with a slender 1-0 lead from Juan Mata's penalty on the stroke of halftime.

Henderson, who arrived at the club from Carlisle United at the age of 14, clawed the ball away to keep his side's lead intact and it went on to make sure of victory against the second-tier side with late goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.

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“That is probably the job our keepers sometimes have to do, you have to make saves when needed and David (de Gea) has done that for years and Dean did that today,” said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“It was very important because it was 1-0," added Mata to Sky Television at the final whistle.

'Great save'

"He did a great save and somebody also cleared the ball on the line. I think we did O.K. We have all not been training together for too long and now it is important to get the rhythm back and to get confidence. The confidence comes with results.”

Henderson later tweeted: "I dreamt about this my whole life!! Unbelievable feeling to make my debut for the club I love!! Clean sheet and a win to top it off!!!"

 

He will now look to depose Spain international De Gea who has been the subject of criticism this year but made some good stops at the weekend against Palace at Old Trafford.

The win over Luton got United back to winning ways and Solskjaer was pleased with the team's progress to the fourth round where it will face Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion or Championship team Preston North End.

“Going through is the big thing. There are some positives, the keeper does his job, we scored some nice goals towards the end, apart from that it was a good workout,” he said.

Competition can bring out the best in De Gea - Fletcher

Dean Henderson has all the tools to become Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper but his presence will also bring out the best in David De Gea, former Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher has said.

De Gea came under scrutiny last season following a number of high-profile errors, with Henderson backed to take over after an impressive loan spell at Sheffield United.

Henderson, 23, impressed on his United debut, making a key save in their 3-0 win at Luton Town in the League Cup on Tuesday to strengthen his bid to replace the 29-year-old Spaniard as first-choice in goal.

'Got the arrogance'

“He's gone away to Sheffield United and did fantastic in the Championship and the Premier League last year,” Fletcher told Sky Sports.

“De Gea has a real challenge on his hands now, he's a genuine contender. Henderson wants to be United's No. 1 - he's got the confidence, he's got the arrogance, he believes in himself. He backs himself and it's going to bring out the best out of De Gea.”

United face Brighton & Hove Albion in the league on Saturday.

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