Dean Henderson has ‘not done enough’ to replace David de Gea as Manchester United’s No. 1 goalkeeper, according to Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand.
England international Henderson has been battling De Gea for the No. 1 shirt at Old Trafford throughout the second-half of the 2020-21 campaign.
It appeared as though Henderson was edging De Gea out earlier in the month, but it was the Spaniard who started Manchester United’s Europa League final against Villarreal on Wednesday night, although he did little in the match to cement his place in the team for next season.
After the final finished 1-1, De Gea failed to save any of Villarreal’s 11 penalties – including a strike from rival shot-stopper Geronimo Rulli – before missing his own spot-kick at the end of a marathon shootout.
De Gea’s failure in the penalty shootout has sparked calls for Henderson to be United’s first-choice goalkeeper next season and Ferdinand has now weighed into the debate.
Asked who he believes should be Manchester United’s No. 1 next term, Ferdinand told FIVE: ‘I just don’t think Dean Henderson has done enough to drag the No. 1 shirt off of David de Gea, that’s my thoughts.
‘If he came in and set the world completely alight you’d have no problems with making him No. 1. But I don’t think he’s come in and hit everyone between the eyes with his form.
‘I think he’s got potential but is it for right now? David missed the penalty tonight, does that mean he’s not the right goalkeeper? I don’t think that should determine whether you’re No. 1 or not.
‘If you give it to Henderson, what’s it based on? He didn’t cover himself in glory against Liverpool [in a 4-2 defeat at Old Trafford earlier this month].
‘David was great against Roma [in the Europa League semi-finals], they could have scored six goals if it wasn’t for him in goal.
‘David hasn’t saved a penalty since 2016 so to expect him to go into that shootout and pull up trees is a bit unrealistic given his record.’
Manchester United were the overwhelming favourites going into the Europa League final but found themselves trailing after Gerard Moreno poked home from a free-kick.
The Premier League club responded after half-time – Edinson Cavani continuing his fine form with the equaliser – but Villarreal kept United at bay for the rest of the match.
Speaking after the defeat, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted the season had not been a success for Manchester United, after they failed to win a trophy and finished second in the Premier League.
Asked if this campaign had been a success for his team, Solskjaer said: ‘No. We need to get better, simple as.
‘We’ve done really well this season coming through. The start was difficult. We had no pre-season and lost three of the first six.
‘We pushed in the league, maybe got closer to the top than we thought and we got to a final. But you need to win the finals to make it a good season.’
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