Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted that Dean Henderson has been banging on his door after being asked to work on two areas of his game.
The 23-year-old England keeper returned to Old Trafford this summer after a two-year loan spell with Sheffield United.
Henderson was hoping to put pressure on No.1 keeper David de Gea, but so far the Spaniard has made the role his own, at least in the Premier League.
Henderson has made three Premier League appearances and started all of United’s domestic cup games, but Solskjaer says he wants more.
The back-up keeper is set to face West Ham on Tuesday night in the FA Cup with calls for Henderson to replace De Gea permanently.
De Gea struggled in the draw with Everton and several pundits highlighted his fragility, while Solskjaer reminded the 30-year-old he has to earn his place in the side.
Asked how long the player is away from getting a regular run in the Premier League, the Norwegian skilfully swerved the question.
“Well, Dean has played well whenever he’s got the chance, and he’s matured. For me, he’s developed his game,” said Solskjaer.
“I know he’s not played as many games as he would have done last season, but you see every game when he plays, and in training, his improvement.”
The United boss did though hint at why the former Shrewsbury loanee has not yet managed to dislodge De Gea.
“He’s working hard on a couple of aspects that we’ve spoken about with him. I’ve been impressed with his attitude and work-rate,” said Solskjaer.
“Of course, he’s, how do you say, he’s not the most patient guy! He wants to play every game because he knows that he’ll perform well, so long may it continue, because he’s improved since he’s come here.”
Lingard’s good first impression
Speaking about the challenge West Ham will pose at Old Trafford in the fifth round, Solskjaer said: “They’ve improved a lot, I’ve got to say.
“David’s got his teams well organised, as he always does with his teams. And he’s got some very good players and of course Jesse did really well for them [against Aston Villa] and I hope he’s going to make them a better team, because that means he’ll have played well.”
Lingard cannot play under the terms of his loan deal from United
Solskjaer added: “Jesse has started really well. He’s gone down there, made a good first impression. He’s just got to knuckle down, work hard, keep his head down, keep improving his game.
“We know how good he is. Just get a regular run in the game, in the team, and then hopefully we can see the best of Jesse.”
The United boss does not expect defender Eric Bailly to be fit on Tuesday, while Phil Jones has yet to feature this season due to a knee injury.