Sheffield United: 'We've been delighted with Dean Henderson' says Blades boss Chris Wilder as Manchester United check-in on their loan goalkeeper in the Steel City
Chris Wilder admits that Sheffield United have been 'delighted' with the contribution of on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson since he arrived from Manchester United.
The England U21 international has emerged as a real crowd favourite at Bramall Lane, with his eye-catching saves only second to his exuberant celebrations.
And Wilder - who will name Henderson as his goalkeeper to face Swansea this weekend, barring illness or injury - admitted: “We've been delighted with him.
"You always look to the supporters, as we have very passionate support, and, straight away, he has become one of the crowd's favourites.
"The way he interacts with the supporters has been brilliant and he's always the last off the pitch after the end of the game. Win, lose or draw. He's got that character that enjoys the pressure of playing in front of a big crowd.”
Wilder was speaking to Les Parry, who is employed at Old Trafford to keep tabs on the club's loan players and visited United's Shirecliffe training ground recently to speak to Wilder, Henderson and goalkeeping coach Darren Ward.
"He's challenged people, and me and the other goalkeepers and the attackers in drills... But the beauty of it is he's probably earned the respect of the dressing room, because he's backed it up," said Ward.
"Out on the training pitch and out on the stadium pitch. He's made telling contributions that have influenced games."
Henderson himself, who signed a new deal at Old Trafford in the summer before joining Wilder's men on loan, added:
“A lot of people wouldn't have had the bottle to go out to the lower leagues as you could sit in your comfort zone,” he said. “Especially with someone like David De Gea in front of you, you've got to find a path and something different as you're never going to get thrown straight in as an Academy keeper.
”You've got to make a unique path and I've done that. I've worked with Les to go to Stockport, Grimsby, Shrewsbury and now Sheffield United, and this has shown progression throughout the years.
“If I can go to the next step, that's obviously Manchester United and the Premier League.”