Why Dean Henderson joining Celtic on loan would be ideal for all parties

According to claims from football website 90min (h/t MSN), Celtic are weighing up a shock loan swoop for Manchester United shot-stopper Dean Henderson ahead of the January transfer window.

The Red Devils opted to retain the services of the 23-year-old in the summer following his impressive loan spell at Sheffield United in the Premier League last season. However, Henderson has failed to displace undisputed No.1 David de Gea at Old Trafford and United are now open to the prospect of loaning out the academy graduate during the mid-season trading period.


Dean Henderson started his footballing education at Carlisle United before joining Man United’s youth system back in 2011. He signed his first professional contract with the Red Devils after impressing for the club’s U-18 side.

Henderson then went through a series of loan spells at Stockport County, Grimsby Town and Shrewsbury Town before joining Sheffield United on loan in the Championship in 2018.

Man Utd offer Dean Henderson mega £100k-a-week new contract as Solskjaer ramps up pressure on No1 David De Gea
Celtic are interested in signing Dean Henderson on loan in January (Getty Images)

The 23-year-old played every minute of Sheffield United’s Championship campaign, managing 21 clean sheets in 46 appearances as the Blades finished runners-up and secured promotion to the Premier League.

Henderson rejoined the Yorkshire outfit on a second successive loan and guided Chris Wilder’s side to an impressive 9th-place finish in the PL last term, keeping 13 clean sheets in the process. 

Henderson signed a new long-term contract with United until 2025 following his return from loan and made his senior debut against Luton Town in the League Cup. He has made 3 first-team appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions so far and recently earned his senior debut for England in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

Henderson would be an excellent signing for Celtic

Celtic splashed a handsome £4.5million to sign Greek international shot-stopper Vasilios Barkas in the summer. He quickly established himself as the club’s No.1 between the sticks back in August and put in a string of solid displays, keeping 8 clean sheets in 14 appearances across all competitions. 

Dean Henderson says goodbye to Sheffield United next season as goalkeeper prepares to battle David de Gea for no.1 jersey at Manchester United
Henderson spent the last couple of seasons on loan at Sheffield United (Getty Images)

Barkas, though, was dropped from the starting eleven after a couple of lacklustre displays in back-to-back defeats against Rangers and AC Milan. Neil Lennon reinstated Scott Bain as the first-choice keeper but the Scottish international shipped 10 goals in 5 outings heading into the international break. 

While neither goalkeeper is to blame for what has been a collective defensive failure at Parkhead this season, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Celtic to keep their options open ahead of the January window. And the potential availability of Dean Henderson on loan presents an excellent opportunity for the Hoops to strengthen a key area of the pitch.

Henderson earned rave reviews for his shot-stopping abilities during his two-season loan spell at Sheffield United while also demonstrating a great deal of maturity in organising in his defence.

Considering that Celtic’s backline has collapsed like a pack of cards far too often this season, having a reliable figure like Henderson between the sticks will surely hand a massive boost to their faltering campaign. 

Dean Henderson signs new Manchester United deal - The Busby Babe
Source: Getty Images

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It would surely be a long way beyond Celtic’s means to complete a permanent deal for Dean Henderson, who is widely regarded as a top young goalkeeping talent in England. But the 23-year-old could offer an excellent short-term fix for the Hoops’ inconsistency between the sticks.

Looking at things from the player’s perspective, Henderson needs regular minutes to continue progressing in the right direction. That seems unlikely to happen at United and the youngster should be open to the prospect of venturing north of the border for more game time.

Bringing in a new goalkeeper need not be a top priority for Celtic in January but they shouldn’t hesitate to snap up Henderson on loan if the opportunity presents itself. 


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