Opinion: Keylor Navas transfer spells bad news for Dean Henderson

Bad news for Dean Henderson at the City ground, but this is the wrong publication if you looking for sympathy.

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas has joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season, as per the Daily Mail. The three-times Champions League winner will provide experienced competition for Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson, who is currently ruled out with a thigh injury.

That injury prompted Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper to sign Navas in the final hours of the January transfer window. A deal I’m sure has left their fans excited.

Henderson, on the other hand, must be absolutely gutted. The 25-year-old has been a key player for Forest in their recent revival to climb up the Premier League table and reach the Carabao Cup semi-final. Now he is likely to get pushed aside for the remainder of the season.

It’s inevitable that Navas will take the first choice role for now — starting this weekend against Leeds — but is Cooper really going to sign a goalkeeper like Navas to Forest to bench him once Henderson returns?

It is believed that Erik ten Hag offered Henderson a return to Old Trafford in January. Prior to Jack Butland’s loan move from Crystal Palace, the proposal was dismissed as the keeper wanted to see out his season with Forest. The Manchester Evening News claims Ten Hag felt fishing the ball out of the back of the net so frequently was counter-productive.

Of course, this is the same Henderson who gave a critical interview to talkSPORT about his time United after joining Forest on loan.

“To be honest, it has probably been the toughest 12 months of my career,” Henderson said back in August 2021. “It has been tough, hard, and I am so happy I have gone out the other end of it.

“I am so excited to be at Nottingham Forest and ready to go.

“The conversation I had coming out of the Euros squad was ‘you’re coming back here to be No.1.’

“I got COVID, came back, so I should have still been the No.1, but then unfortunately nobody followed through with what they had told me.

“It was frustrating because I turned down so many good loans last summer for that reason, and they would not let me go.

“To sit there and waste 12 months, it is criminal really, at my age, I was fuming.

“I worked hard off the pitch and on the training pitch to keep improving, day-in-day-out, and now I am looking forward to the season with Nottingham Forest.

“I didn’t really want the manager to come in and see me in training because I knew that he’d probably want to keep me so I tried to do it all before I left for the season.

“I told the hierarchy that I need to be playing football, I don’t want to be here and play second fiddle, it was planned out. I was almost gone before the manager [Erik ten Hag] came through the door. I have not spoken to him since.”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Henderson’s next talkSPORT interview – on how people at Forest didn’t follow through with what they told him prior to his injury.


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