Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Dean Henderson is happy at Manchester United despite his lack of playing time and has urged the England international to take every chance he gets. The 23-year-old returned from a successful loan spell at Sheffield United to challenge David de Gea for the No 1 spot at Old Trafford, but has so far struggled to dislodge the Spaniard and has had to settle for just three starts – two in the League Cup and one in the Champions League.
With the Euros next summer, the young goalkeeper is keen to keep impressing Gareth Southgate to be in with a chance of making the squad and is being tipped to potentially make a January loan move to increase his chances.
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However, Solskjaer is insistent that Henderson’s time will come, although he would not confirm if he would start against Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. “Dean wants to stay at Manchester United and play for Manchester United,” Solskjaer said in his press conference on Monday afternoon.
“I can’t see the logic in one potential appearance before Christmas, do you know how many games we’ve got? So I disagree completely that tomorrow is a make or break for Dean, he’s come back in, he’s training really well, he’s maturing, he’s had some games and he’s training, for me, with one of the best keepers in the world.
“He’s got the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. There’s great competition between them, I don’t buy that argument that it’s made or break for him. It’s not up to me to make everyone happy, I’ve said that a few times. The performances will always be the deciding factor if you play or not. “I think every position you play for Manchester United, it’s your duty to make me and the coaches happy so then there’s a bigger chance you can play next time.”
One of Henderson’s three starts was against Basaksehir in the reverse fixture in Turkey, where the hosts won 2-1 after a disappointing display from United. Solskjaer is expecting more from his players when they welcome the Turkish champions to Old Trafford tomorrow night.
“Well, you know when you go away to Turkey that it’s going to be a difficult game anyway. I have experienced that at Manchester United a few times before, but the level of concentration needs to be better,” Solskjaer explained. “We know two goals we conceded on bad breakaways and one or two other moments we caused our own problems with our own organization when we had the ball.
“We need to be more disciplined in our positioning; any lack of concentration and they’re off and running, the first goal was the worst goal to concede, the second a counter-attack, and then we’ve looked at the game and how to break them down.”