Big name snubs stunning Man Utd return as Ten Hag bears full brunt of failed Solskjaer promise

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd training at the Aon Training Complex, Carrington

Erik ten Hag contacted Dean Henderson to see if the goalkeeper would be open to returning to Manchester United in January, but the goalkeeper turned down this opportunity, according to a report.

Henderson is a product of the Man Utd academy. He had loan spells at Stockport, Grimsby Town and Shrewsbury before joining Sheffield United in summer 2018. He had a fantastic debut season at Bramall Lane, keeping 21 clean sheets in the Championship to help the Blades gain promotion to the Premier League.

The shot-stopper returned to Sheff Utd on loan the following season. He enjoyed another great campaign as they finished in ninth spot under Chris Wilder.

When returning to Man Utd in summer 2020, then manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer promised Henderson he would get regular game time.

He spent most of the 2020-21 campaign on the bench but started to impress in the final few months of the season. This led to hopes the Englishman might oust David de Gea as Man Utd’s number one the following year.

However, Henderson only made three appearances in all competitions last season. He was fed up of not playing and decided to leave for Nottingham Forest on loan in July 2022.

Forest do not have the strongest of defences, and Henderson has conceded 33 goals in 20 matches for the club so far. Despite this, he has still pulled off some good saves and will be enjoying playing regularly in the Premier League.

The Manchester Evening News provide an analysis of Man Utd’s first January transfer window under Ten Hag. And it includes some interesting information on Henderson.

Ten Hag chat with Dean Henderson revealed

They claim Ten Hag rang the 25-year-old to find out whether he might be open to cutting his Forest loan short and returning to Man Utd. The Dutchman thinks it is ‘counter-productive’ for Henderson to be conceding so many goals.

But astonishingly, Ten Hag was rejected by his own player as Henderson said he would not be returning to Manchester this season. He wants to see out the rest of the campaign at the City Ground and continue his development there.

As such, Ten Hag had to look for alternative keeper replacements for Martin Dubravka. He went back to Newcastle on January 1 following the end of his loan spell. In the end, Man Utd settled for Jack Butland from Crystal Palace.

Solskjaer’s failed promise to Henderson still seems to be having an affect on both the keeper and Man Utd. Henderson is wary about returning to the club and simply warming the bench again. So it is understandable that he pushed back Ten Hag’s advances.

However, Ten Hag has shown he is willing to run Man Utd differently to his predecessors and that he is not afraid to make tough decisions. As such, there is a strong chance he would replace De Gea with Henderson if the latter impressed him.

Of course, there is also the possibility of Man Utd spending big money on a new keeper this summer. They are supposedly admirers of Porto and Portugal star Diogo Costa.

Should he arrive as De Gea’s successor, then this would surely see Henderson push for a permanent transfer to another Premier League team.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag has been sent a warning by the agent of new Man Utd arrival Marcel Sabitzer.