Martin Smith: It's make-your-mind-up time for Sheffield United loan star Dean Henderson

It’s looking like make-your-mind-up-time for Dean Henderson - and he might just decide he’s had enough.

Monday, 20th July 2020, 1:22 pm
Dean Henderson. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Dean Henderson. Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Enough of waiting, enough of divided loyalties and enough being told he’s not quite good enough.

As Sheffield United goalkeeper he has been superb since he joined the club on loan from his first-love Manchester United two years ago.

He’s made mistakes, got over them and improved.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Two seasons ago the idea of him taking over from Man Utd’s four-time player of the year David De Gea seemed far-fetched.

Now it’s almost irresistible.

In that period De Gea has not been the world class keeper he had been for five years up to the 2018 World Cup.

Where 29-year-old De Gea has shrunk, 23-year-old Henderson has grown.

This summer will be a pivotal moment in both men’s careers.

If Henderson doesn’t get his dream move back to Old Trafford as first choice he may decide it’s time to fully switch allegiance.

*Nigel Pearson sacked?

For a man of intelligence, integrity and clear managerial ability it seems to happen more than it perhaps should to the former Wednesday captain.

But no coach has settled at Vicarage Road since the Pozzo family took over ownership of Watford in 2012.

Three managers are considered to have failed this season.

Maybe the managers aren’t the problem.

Maybe it’s something about the ownership, squad or culture within the club that stops the team from achieving consistency.

The Pozzo’s hire and fire approach has so far kept the club in the Premier League but firing a manager with two games to go seems perverse.

Have they accepted that they are going down and are starting their clear-out early?

Or do they think that they have a chance of survival by getting in someone who can get points from their last two games against Man City and Arsenal?

One man normally high on the list of those who might just be able to do that?

Nigel Pearson.

*Lots of Olympic nostalgia around as today should have been the start of the 2020 games.

And the more we look back the greater seem the achievements of three-time world champion Jessica Ennis at London 2012.

Sheffield’s Jess, then aged 26, became the face of those games and produced one of the greatest performances in Olympic history to take heptathlon gold.