Martin Smith Column: At last, Dean Henderson is back at Sheffield United... but will a summer of indecision make him question his long-term Manchester United future?

At last, and this time it might be permanent.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 29th July 2019, 5:57 pm
Sheffield United's Dean Henderson. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sheffield United’s much-loved loan keeper Dean Henderson has temporarily escaped Old Trafford’s web of political and financial intrigue.

After last season’s promotion-winning heroics Henderson wanted to come back, Sheffield United wanted him.

Manchester United needed to get first-choice keeper David de Gea on a new deal before they would allow Henderson to return to Bramall Lane.

Fair enough.

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But the way owners’ the Glazer family and officials are conducting business west of the Pennines is a frustration to all involved - and to the rest of us, sick of endless speculation.

Henderson is back and that’s all that matters to Blades fans.

His first declared love is Manchester United, the team he grew up with.

But maybe the summer intrigue and indecision of ‘Glazernomics’ has loosened those ties and made a permanent move to Bramall Lane more attractive than it was.

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It’s a strange business when a football manager’s lookalike gets more twitter attention than a world championship swimming gold.

Great Britain’s first ever 4x100m medley relay win creates sporting history for Britain’s crop of top class swimmers led by the almost super-human Adam Peaty.

Peaty, James Guy, Luke Greenbank and Duncan Scott won in South Korea with a new European record of 3:28.10.

Meanwhile in the TV fantasy land of Love Island a bloke appears - Greg’s dad apparently - who looks like former Wednesday boss Steve Bruce and it’s all over the internet.

None of this is Bruce’s doing of course and it must have come as light relief from recent strife.

No doubt he had a chuckle himself.

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It’s 23 years ago this week that Davor Suker made his debut for Real Madrid.

It was his performance at Hillsborough a month earlier that helped seal his move from Sevilla.

Croatia v Denmark, Davor Sukor, Leppings Lane End, the chip over Peter Schmeichel at Euro 96.

Sublime skill on the biggest stage, sheer sporting beauty.

But walking to the ground that day among Croatian supporters was a real eye-opener.

The memory of the gaunt and haunted faces of young men who had been caught up as victims or combatants in the wars that blighted the former Yugoslavian states is still as vivid as that glorious goal.

Football is often accused of fuelling nationalistic fervour.

But the game and goal that day were, for many, blessed relief from the recent nightmares of war.