There’s absolutely no way Ole Gunnar Solskajer would have allowed David de Gea to return to Spain for the birth of his daughter if he didn’t have an adequate back.
But they certainly do in the form of Dean Henderson.
“He asked to go home and in the old world it’s a day and you go and you’re ready again. With the pandemic and the quarantines, it’s a different world,” Solskjaer explained after De Gea tweeted the news that his Edurne has given birth to their daughter Yanay.
“Still, we felt when David wanted to be there to support his girlfriend that’s not even a decision to make. Dean [Henderson] came in and played well and he’s ready. I’ll give David the time he needs of course.”
When De Gea returns to England he will have to follow government quarantine rules meaning he could be out of action for a few more weeks.
Henderson, who is valued at £18m, came in against Crystal Palace and kept a clean sheet during an awful 0-0 draw. He then managed a shutout in the Manchester derby on Sunday as United went to the Etihad to win 2-0.
But not only did he keep a clean sheet during the huge win, but he also played a major role in Luke Shaw making it 2-0.
Henderson’s brilliant throw helped beat the City high press as Shaw took the ball in his stride and entered the opposition half. A few seconds later, Shaw played a one-two with Marcus Rashford and fired into the bottom corner. It was all about the left-back but it started from Henderson.
It even earned a shoutout from former United goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar.
But it wasn’t a one-off.
Henderson’s distribution is one of his biggest strengths and a short video clip posted on Twitter shows that he’s actually contributed to three goals this season.
In the first leg against Real Sociedad, his quick roll out to Fred resulted in the Brazilian threading through Rashford who finished. Earlier in the season, he came out of his goal to clear long against West Ham. Despite claims that the ball had gone out of the play, it resulted in Paul Pogba firing home.
A United fan posted the video onto Twitter with the caption: “Sometime in the future, David De Gea moves to PSG after an illustrious career with United. He wins everything to be won there while Dean Henderson leads us to victory by dropping dimes like these on the daily.”
Will De Gea get his place back when he returns?
It's certainly left Solskjaer with a decision to make with Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane suggesting that Henderson has the potential to become a "brilliant goalkeeper" for United.
“The goalkeeper was excellent. Ole used the word ‘nice presence about him’ that’s what all the top goalkeepers have and I think this kid has got a great chance of being a brilliant goalkeeper for Man Utd,” Keane said on Sky Sports, as quoted by the Metro.
“I thought it was an excellent goal and a very good throw from the goalkeeper because he puts a bit of pace on it in front of Shaw.
“He forces Shaw to come onto it. I think the throw forces Shaw onto it. It’s not as if he throws it behind Shaw and the keeper’s been excellent the whole game.
“Nice body language he looks comfortable. He’s putting him on the front foot. Credit to Shaw after that.”