Manchester United face a goalkeeping crisis in January and it is entirely of their own making.
The club’s blatant mismanagement of both Dean Henderson and Sergio Romero has left both players unhappy at the club and their careers stuck in the mud.
Relations between Romero and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completely broke down when he was dropped for both the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals. It was then decided not to send Henderson back out on loan and make him David de Gea’s number two, leaving the Argentinian, who was not even informed of the decision, out in the cold,.
The club’s executives then blocked a deadline day loan deal to Everton, leading to the point where Romero’s wife Eliana Guercio took to Instagram to beg United to let him leave.
The club did not grant the request and did not even register Romero in either the Premier League or Champions League squads, again without bothering to inform the player of their decision.
The rejected loan move to Goodison, in which the Toffees would have paid 100% of his wages and offered a £2 million fee, was refused because United wanted to sell and had slapped an £8 million asking price on Romero’s head.
But now according to The Mirror, the United board are prepared to drop their asking price to £2.5 million to move Romero on in January. This would see them recouping less than they would have had they taken the Everton deal and avoided the unnecessary parking of the 33-year-old’s career, which includes 96 caps for Argentina.
Meanwhile, Henderson has not been given the game time that Romero used to enjoy at Old Trafford and that he would presumably have expected when brought in from loan.
The 23-year-old has featured in just two Carabao Cup matches and the Champions League clash with Istanbul Basaksehir, with De Gea preferred for the PSG and RB Leipzig matches and all Premier League games.
This has given Henderson little opportunity to stake his claim for the number one spot nor to play regular enough football to challenge Jordan Pickford for the England number one position.
The Sun claims that the player is unhappy with the situation and has demanded that the club sends him out on loan in January.
‘Championship high-fliers Bournemouth are already exploring a loan move for Henderson but he would prefer Premier League game time,’ The Sun reports.
‘Leeds and Brighton may look at a loan deal in January but United will have the final say.
‘And that could see awkward conversations between Solskjaer and the Henderson camp over the next few weeks.’
In fact, the Championship or a move abroad looks much more likely than a Premier League move and would represent a huge and unnecessary step backward for Henderson at this stage of his career.
The unhappiness of both keepers makes for a dangerous situation for Solskjaer, who will have to disappoint one in January or risk completing the season with just De Gea and fourth choice stopper, Lee Grant.
There appears to have been no forward planning at all coupled with incompetence in the handling of Romero’s departure and this is another example of the shambolic and inhumane way this once great club is now run.
United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.