Paul Scholes warned Dean Henderson that his costly mistake against AC Milan has given David de Gea a route back to being first-choice goalkeeper at Manchester United.
It’s cruel being a keeper. You make one mistake and it’s magnified –because it usually ends up being a conceded goal and nobody wants that.
Henderson has been given a run of games at United after De Gea returned to Spain for the birth of his daughter. He had done well up until last night’s stoppage time moment of madness, keeping two clean sheets in two matches.
Last night he conceded a late goal against Milan after failing to stop Simon Kjaer’s header.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, Scholes said the keeper should have kept the ball out.
He said, as quoted by MEN: “He should save it, I think he’s tried to make it a bit more difficult than it should be. First and foremost, keep the ball out of the net, he should save that. There’s no doubt about it – he’ll know that.”
I expected him to save it after his recent performances in a United shirt. On top of that, Henderson was one of the best keepers in the Premier League at Sheffield United.
Playing for MUFC is a huge step up and Henderson needs to start taking his chances soon.
Scholes added: “The trouble with that is when the mistake comes in his career, not in his career, but this chance he’s been given in the team. It’s come in his second or third game.
“It’s early, now he has to respond to that. He has a great chance to play for the next four or five weeks, do really well and make the manager pick him every week and then tell David: ‘Look, I’m sorry but there’s no way I can leave this boy out’. Now that gives a little opening again to David.”
We would much prefer if it was an easy decision and it could turn into a disaster if it turns out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t fancy either keeper going into the transfer market. Who else is out there? How much does it cost to sign a top goalkeeper these days?
United have not had to worry about that for some time, and everyone thought a year ago that Henderson was lined up for the first-choice role after De Gea. I wouldn’t be so sure now.
Scholes’ BT Sport colleague Owen Hargreaves agreed with Scholes and argued it was the sort of stop United keepers need to be making.
Hargreaves added: “He’s a confident young man and he’ll realise that’s one he should have saved. He couldn’t see it, there were so many people in front of him but let’s be honest, Milan deserved something from the game.”
The former United midfielder went on again: “Every goalkeeper has made mistakes, you only really know the players until they make a mistake. He knows if he probably stands up, I’m not a goalkeeper, I don’t understand the technique but I think if he just stands still, he catches it.
“Maybe he just gets put off by someone in front of him or tries to push it over. He’ll realise, he’s confident, he’s smart, it’s a save he needs to make if he wants to be in goal for Man United.”