Dean Henderson has sensationally hit out at Manchester United for not fulfilling their promise to make him the club’s first-choice goalkeeper, describing the time wasted in his career as “criminal”.
The England stopper did not hold back when quizzed about his treatment in an explosive interview that will raise serious doubts about his long-term future at Old Trafford.
Henderson joined newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan deal in July,
having made just three first-team appearances for United last term and none in the Premier League as he once again played firmly second fiddle to David de Gea.
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The academy graduate, who signed a five-year contract extension in 2020 with the option for a further 12 months,
endured a miserable time last summer as he was forced to withdraw from England’s Euros squad with a hip injury and then struggled with
a bout of Covid-19 that rendered him unavailable for selection by then boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
However, he believes despite that tough stretch, United should still have followed through on their pledge of installing him as No1 ahead of
De Gea having turned down plenty of opportunities to further his career elsewhere.
Henderson also revealed he made his desire to leave the club plainly clear this summer and has not spoken to new manager Erik ten Hag since making the switch to Forest, where he hopes to resurrect his stalled career.
“To be honest, it has probably been the toughest 12 months of my career.”
“The conversation I had coming out of the Euros squad was ‘You’re coming back here to be the number one’.
“I got Covid-19, came back, so I should have still been the number one but then nobody followed through with what they had told me.
“It was frustrating, because I turned down so many good loans last summer for that reason, and they would not let me go.
To sit there for 12 months, it is criminal really, at my age, I was fuming.
“I told the hierarchy that I need to be playing football and to let me go, and I was almost gone before the manager (Erik ten Hag) came through the door. I have not spoken to him since.
“I worked hard on and off the pitch to keep improving, day-in-day-out, and now I am looking forward to the season with Nottingham Forest.”