Manchester United fans have showered Dean Henderson with praise following his performance vs AC Milan in the Europa League tie.
The young goalkeeper wasn’t thoroughly tested in a direct sense as the defence held firm but it was all the other things he did that reassured all.
Henderson certainly pulled off at least one remarkable save but what supporters appreciated was how often he relieved pressure from his deefenders.
The talented Englishman is skilled with claiming the ball from dangerous crosses and comfortable at rushing off his line to sweep up any balls that are played in behind his defence.
These two aspects in particular isn’t something first-choice David de Gea does often and so fans were even more appreciative of Henderson for it.
Henderson coming for balls instead of letting the defenders deal with things is SO useful.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) March 18, 2021
I’m not a big fan of Victor Lindelöf & Harry Maguire as a CB partnership, but there’s no doubt about it now that they’re a lot better with Dean Henderson behind them. All 3 were very good again tonight.
— Ryan. 🔴 (@Vintage_Utd) March 18, 2021
Dean Henderson – absolutely fantastic.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) March 18, 2021
That’s Lindelöf’s best performance in a Manchester United shirt. He was absolutely outstanding. Maguire too.
I’m sure plenty will disagree but for me, they’ve both been so much better with Henderson behind them.
— Jordan (@FourFourJordan) March 18, 2021
Henderson feels so much more solid/reliable. Hasn’t been and probably won’t be pulling off any highlight reel saves a la DDG, but you trust him to handle everything he’s supposed to, & that’s, well.. relaxing
— Adroit Cadet (@Adroit_Cadet) March 18, 2021
Brilliant win for Utd. Big goal from a guy we've missed and I never thought I'd be saying that back in September. A guy who's been criticized for his contributions in big games, so credit where it's due today. Henderson also looked like a Utd keeper tonight. Very pleased.
— Pilib De Brún (Phil Brown) (@Malachians) March 18, 2021
There’s a growing theory Henderson isn’t great just because of the type of goalkeeper he is but also because of how he tends to make the defenders ahead of him look better.
It seems the academy product covers up any weaknesses the defence currently has, leaving Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, who have been often criticised this season, to gain plenty of praise themselves too.
Suddenly Manchester United’s defence has looked reassured of late and it can either be a coincidence or because of Henderson’s inclusion.