Dean Henderson revealed Marcus Rashford “just doesn’t care” about one aspect in Man Utd training, and was in no doubt a Tottenham star is the best he’s faced.
Henderson’s career at Manchester United reached another crossroads in the summer. The 25-year-old felt aggrieved at being overlooked in favour of David de Gea last season. The two stoppers had competed for the shirt the campaign prior, but De Gea reigned supreme last year.
Going in search of regular gametime, Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on a one-year loan. Soon after the move went through, Henderson took aim at United in an explosive interview with talkSPORT.
Henderson’s future may yet remain in Manchester pending how De Gea fares this season and beyond. The latest reports have suggested the veteran Spaniard could be axed as early as next year.
Henderson’s contract at Old Trafford doesn’t expire until 2025.
That means Manchester United are under no pressure to sell anytime soon. What’s more, a sparkling loan spell with Forest will give Erik ten Hag a decision to make next summer.
If he does ultimately break back into the United eleven, Henderson will resume squaring off against Marcus Rashford in training.
If his Q&A with Sky Sports is anything to go by, he won’t be relishing that opportunity.
Rashford gives Man Utd teammate something to think about
When asked if there was any single player who hits the ball harder than anyone, Henderson said: “Either Harry Kane or Marcus Rashford. Rashford can slap it.
“Marcus will be eight yards away, he won’t care [that] you’re in the way, he’ll just slap it straight at you.
“You can’t even move. You want to get out of the way, but you can’t get out of the way.
“It stings so much, especially in the winter time. He just doesn’t care about the goalies, I’ll be honest, not a nice feeling sometimes!”
Henderson has faced Tottenham captain Kane both in the Premier League and in training with England.
Kane is widely regarded as one of the finest strikers of the Premier League era.
His 189 EPL goals put him 71 behind Alan Shearer’s 260 record. Still only 29, few would bet against Kane setting a new benchmark before his career concludes.
When asked who was the most clinical finisher he’s come up against, Henderson did not hesitate: “Harry Kane, for sure.”
Harry Kane “unbelievable” in shooting drills
“He slaps the ball hard and in the corners. He can go either way, it doesn’t really affect him and wherever he is he can turn his foot on it.
“You’ve got to be aware and constantly ready for it.”
When asked what it’s like facing him in training with England, Henderson continued: “He’s ridiculous.
“The shooting drills… unbelievable. He’s got such pure technique, it’s so hard to read him because he turns his foot on it at the last second.
“He is top, fair play to him. You don’t do what he’s done in the game unless you’re top, he’s quality.”
Will Henderson displace De Gea?
The report linking De Gea with an exit next summer came via the Italian press. Calciomercato put Juventus in the frame to sign the 31-year-old who could be out of contract next summer.
His deal expires at the end of this season, though Man Utd do hold an option to extend his stay by 12 months.
However, of greater concern to De Gea is whether he actually fits Erik ten Hag’s playing style.
The Dutch boss reportedly favours goalkeepers who are good with their feet and can start attacks from the back. For all his shot-stopping abilities, De Gea has always been limited with ball at feet.
However, Henderson doesn’t excel in possession either, meaning United may ultimately look outside of the club.
Two names from within the Premier League to have drawn links so far are Leeds’ Illan Meslier and Everton’s Jordan Pickford.