Paul Scholes believes that Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson has now done enough to cement his place as the club’s first-choice stopper.
Reports earlier in the season claimed that the 23-year-old had become frustrated and considered leaving.
The former Sheffield United loanee arrived back at Old Trafford last summer looking to stake his claim in the side. However, he has remained largely on the sidelines until recently, with David de Gea keeping his spot as the No. 1.
Indeed, De Gea travelled to Spain earlier this month for personal leave to be with his newborn child. As such, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed Henderson the platform to earn his stripes.
Henderson put in another solid display in Thursday’s Europa League win over AC Milan, on a day when he also made it in the England squad for the upcoming international break.
“I think it’s Henderson now. He’s taken over,” Scholes told BT Sport after United’s 1-0 win over Milan.
“I thought David had been lucky after the Everton game [in February] to keep his place. There were a couple of mistakes there. A few things before and after that – not glaring mistakes – but I feel more confidence with Henderson in there. I’m a little more relaxed.
“I’m not having a go at David. He’s been a brilliant goalkeeper and could still be if Dean doesn’t take his chance. But the time has come to give him [Henderson] a run in the team.
“He’s been picked in the England squad, he should be number one for England as well. He was really calm tonight and did what he did which was safe.”
Henderson came into Thursday’s clash looking to right the wrongs of his error in last week’s first leg.
United had led 1-0 at Old Trafford, but Henderson could not keep out a stoppage-time header from Milan centre-back Simon Kjaer.
Scholes’ fellow pundit and former team-mate, Owen Hargreaves, praised Henderson for his response in the second leg.
Henderson deserves praise for Man Utd displays
“You only know players – goalkeeper, outfield or whatever – when you make mistakes,” Hargreaves said.
“He will be the first one to say he should have saved that one from the other day.
“It’s going to be hard to get him out, as good as David’s been for United. He’s a really confident and vocal guy.
“I think he deserves a lot of praise for bouncing back and putting in a good performance.”
United return to action on Sunday when facing Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-finals.