Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is looking to leave the club on loan in January, with Leeds and Brighton reportedly keen for his signature.
The 23-year-old has struggled for regular game time at Old Trafford. He wants to move out and join a club where he can play regularly in a bid to boost his chances for a place in the England squad for the European Championships next summer.
Current situation at United
Henderson – who impressed heavily last season on loan at Sheffield United – is yet to feature in the Premier League this season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer relying heavily on the first-choice David de Gea.
While the England international (he recently earned his senior cap against Ireland) has proven his class and mettle in the Premier League, it is really difficult if not impossible for him to dislodge a goalkeeper of De Gea’s stature (arguably one of the best in the world) from the starting XI.
He signed a lucrative six-year contract in August which shows that the Red Devils do have a lot of faith in him. He is an ambitious young player who may well become the first-choice keeper at United in years to come. However, at the moment, a move away from the club on loan is needed for his progress.
United do have a reliable back-up option in Sergio Romero although the Argentine himself is looking for a move elsewhere. This leaves United in a spot of bother, as Solksjaer certainly cannot sanction the departures of two top-quality goalkeepers at the same time.
A potential move to Leeds?
Leeds have played adventurous football under Marcelo Bielsa but they have also leaked in plenty of goals (17).
Young French stopper, Illan Meslier, has done remarkably well, but there is a feeling that Leeds may have missed a trick by not signing an experienced Premier League keeper during the summer.
Kiko Casilla remains an option for Bielsa but the Argentine boss has kept a lot of faith in Meslier who has hardly put any foot wrong since becoming the first-choice keeper towards the end of last season in the Championship.
With Kalvin Phillips back from injury and Diego Llorente set to return as well, Bielsa will hope to plug the holes at the back. If Leeds still continue to concede goals in the coming weeks, it could then force Bielsa into thinking about signing a new keeper.
There’s also another factor that could act as a potential stumbling block. Given the fierce rivalry between the two clubs – exacerbated by the transfers of Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith to Manchester United from Leeds in the past – will the Whites fans be happy to see a player from the Red Devils joining them, albeit on loan?
Henderson is also wanted by Brighton, while Scottish champions Celtic have been linked in recent weeks. Chelsea – who were ready to pay £50m for his signature during the summer – could be interested as well if they offload Kepa Arrizabalaga in January.
Any move Henderson makes will be with playing time in mind, so a move to Leeds would only make sense if he was put immediately into the starting XI.
With that in mind, Henderson may just have to keep looking for the right move while he waits for his opportunity at United.