Dean Henderson has slammed Manchester United for failing to keep their promises ahead of the 2021-22 season. The English goalkeeper labeled his current employers’ actions “criminal” for making him sit on the sidelines for almost an entire campaign.
The England international did not mince words when quizzed about his treatment by the club in the past year. Henderson remains contracted to the Red Devils until at least 2025, and is currently spending the 2022-23 campaign on loan with Nottingham Forest.
Henderson endured a miserable 12 months after missing England’s run to the European Championship finals due to a hip injury. He was then diagnosed with Covid-19 that saw him miss the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season, which he expected to start as United’s number one – but did not.
However, despite his setbacks Henderson feels he was wronged by the 20-time English champions, who did not follow through with their promise. David de Gea continued his role as the Red Devils’ first choice goalkeeper keeping the Englishman on the bench.
“To be honest, it has probably been the toughest 12 months of my career,” Henderson told talkSPORT. “The conversation I had coming out of the Euros squad was ‘You’re coming back here to be the number one’.”
“I got Covid-19, came back, so I should have still been the number one but then nobody followed through with what they had told me.”
Henderson made just three first-team appearances all season, and none of them were in the Premier League. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer endured a difficult season, and after the Norwegian was sacked, even interim manager Ralf Rangnick stuck with De Gea between the sticks.
“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 for 12 months, it is criminal really, at my age, I was fuming,” he added.
“I told the hierarchy that I need to be playing football and to let me go, and I was almost gone before the manager (Erik ten Hag) came through the door. I have not spoken to him since.”
The English stopper is now hoping to resurrect his career with newly promoted Forest. Henderson has joined them on a season-long loan with no buy option, but it remains to be seen if he will ever don the number one jersey at Old Trafford after his latest outburst.
“I worked hard on and off the pitch to keep improving, day-in-day-out, and now I am looking forward to the season with Nottingham Forest.”