Sheffield United: Has Dean Henderson just dropped a big hint about his future?

Dean Henderson was in superb form against Rotherham United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Dean Henderson was in superb form against Rotherham United: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

Dean Henderson has raised Sheffield United's hopes of retaining his services next season after appearing to suggest he is no longer prepared to accept a supporting role at Old Trafford.      

The goalkeeper, who will spend the rest of the season with Chris Wilder's side on loan from Manchester United, insisted gaining promotion from the Championship is his sole focus following the South Yorkshire derby against Rotherham.

With reports suggesting David de Gea is set to join Paris St Germain at the end of the present campaign, Henderson could be handed an opportunity to establish himself in Jose Mourinho's starting eleven when his agreement at Bramall Lane expires.

But, asked to outline his long-term career plans, the England under-21 international used the question to deliver a coded message to his parent club and reaffirm his commitment to Wilder's team. 

"All I'm focused on is getting Sheffield United to the Premier League," Henderson said. "Nothing else.

"That's my aim this year, the bigger picture looks after itself. If they (Manchester United) don't see what I'm doing, that's their problem at the end of the day. Cream rises to the top."

Henderson, aged 21, produced a superb performance at New York Stadium but was powerless to prevent Jamie Proctor scoring a 92nd minute equaliser. Mark Duffy had earlier given the visitors the lead before Chris Basham restored their advantage following Jon Taylor's strike.

The result saw United slip to fifth in the table, five points behind leaders Norwich City, ahead of Tuesday's trip to Brentford.

"We've got a great group and a great chance (of going up)," Henderson said. "I wouldn't swap our team for anyone else. We've just got to get better at certain things.

"I'd take a 2-0 and a clean sheet with nothing to do all day long. But this is what I'm paid to do, to defend our goal and hopefully I've done it well so far this season. 

"That's because there will be bigger games than this, bigger moments, and I'll be ready for them."