Gary Neville has cast doubt over Dean Henderson’s claims to being a long-term option for Manchester United, with the Red Devils legend having seen too many young goalkeepers fail to live up to expectations.
United have two international shot-stoppers tied to long-term contracts, with considerable faith still being shown in a proven Spaniard when it comes to filling a No.1 berth.
Henderson is having to fill back-up duties for now, but a home-grown star is expected to step in at some stage and take on the challenge of filling some iconic boots.
Neville is not sure that the England hopeful can emulate the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar by becoming a stalwart between the sticks, with there still plenty of questions for him to answer.
The former United defender told Viaplay Fotball: “I think De Gea is the No.1 as Henderson has a lot to do in my mind. I don’t get carried away by a young and talented goalkeeper at Manchester United.
“I’ve seen it before over the last 25 years where there have been young and talented goalkeepers who have threatened to come in but to stand in those goals at the club, in particular when fans come back into the stadium, then they are big, big boots to fill. Only Edwin van der Sar and Peter Schmeichel have filled those boots in my time, while David de Gea has now.
“I think he’s De Gea probably been better this season. I was nervous about him towards the end of last season and I think even Ole would’ve been looking at him and thinking ‘you’re not far away from being left out’.
“But I think now he’s stuck with him, which I think is the right thing to do. If you’re going to take someone like him out then you have to make sure that you’re absolutely certain because once you take him out of the team you really are moving his confidence away and he may as well leave the club.
“For me, I think it’s exciting that Henderson is coming through but I reserve my judgement on whether he can become somebody who can go in Manchester United’s goal in the next 10 years.”
Source : goal.com