Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson has completed a season-long loan move to Championship side Sheffield United.
The highly rated England Under-21 international will spend the 2018/19 campaign with the Blades, who finished 10th in their first season back in the second tier last term.
Henderson sees his long-term future with the Reds, having signed a new contract with the club last week that will run until at least June 2020, with the option for a further year.
However, such is the fierce competition for places in the goalkeeping department at all levels at United, he makes the move to Bramall Lane in search of more regular first-team football on the back of a successful loan spell at Shrewsbury Town in 2017/18.
The 21-year-old, who has also been on loan at Stockport County and Grimsby Town in his career, was named in the PFA League One Team of the Season by his peers after helping the Shrews reach the play-off final.
Despite performing superbly at Wembley with a string of fine stops, including an early penalty save, Henderson couldn’t prevent the Shropshire outfit from losing 2-1 to Rotherham United after extra time.
‘I CAN’T WAIT TO GO THERE AND PERFORM’
In an interview with ManUtd.com’s Adam Marshall, Henderson expressed his excitement to get started with the Blades and is looking to make an impact at what he feels is a huge club in the Championship.
“I can’t wait to go there to build on the last season I had at Shrewsbury,” said Dean.
“It’s in the division above and showing that progression by going on to the next bigger stage, in front of 30,000 passionate fans at Bramall Lane. I can’t wait to go there and perform and connect with them. I’m sure it will be a successful season.
“Sheffield United are a massive club and it’s a massive city for football. They’ve got that rivalry with Sheffield Wednesday and I’m looking forward to those games coming up as well. I can’t wait to get there and push up the division.”
INSIDE INFORMATION ON THE BLADES
Henderson follows in the footsteps of Joe Riley and James Wilson, who have previously had temporary stints at Sheffield United on loan from the Reds.
The keeper revealed that he spoke to Riley, who left United to join Bradford City last month, before agreeing his switch to the Blades and was full of praise for their manager Chris Wilder.
“Funnily enough I spoke to Joe last night about the manager,” Dean added.
“He spoke really highly of him and, speaking to Chris Wilder, he has come across as really delighted to have me. It was a no-brainer and it gives me the platform to go there, play games and, hopefully, be a key part of the success there next season.
“I like the fact he’s a Sheffield lad and a Sheffield United fan. He is really passionate about where he wants the club to go and he wants hungry, ambitious young players to help him do that. It’s good as I’m an ambitious lad and, hopefully, we’ll hit it off well.”
WHY DEAN CHOSE SHEFFIELD UNITED
After earning plenty of plaudits for his impressive campaign at Shrewsbury, in which he kept 19 clean sheets in 48 games in all competitions, there was plenty of competition to secure Henderson’s services.
However, the keeper is convinced that he has made the right choice in joining the Blades, who flirted with the play-off places last season before securing a top-half finish in their first campaign back in the Championship after six years in League One.
“There were a hell of a lot of loan clubs and I’m thankful to all of them for coming in,” Dean added.
“But I chose Sheffield United and a manager who has shown trust in me, plus a goalkeeping coach here in Wardy [Darren Ward], and I’m looking forward to learning and hopefully getting better and better.”
Everyone at the club wishes Dean well during his time at Sheffield United.