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Transfer News: Man United eye Championship goalkeeper as potential Henderson replacement

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - Premier League - The Hawthorns West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Monday April 12, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xMichaelxSteelex 59151906

Transfer News: Manchester United ‘interested’ in West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in case of Dean Henderson exit

According to 90min (h/t Manchester Evening News), Manchester United have eyed West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone as a potential replacement for Dean Henderson, if the Red Devils player departs in the summer.

Henderson has been touted to be United’s number 1 for a while now, but it seems as though the Englishman may have to wait a long time for that to happen, with current shot-stopper David de Gea firmly established as the club’s first choice in games.

There may be a case where Henderson departs the club in search of first-team opportunities elsewhere in the summer. If so, United may go in for Johnstone, who currently plays in the Championship, a league below the Red Devils.

Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion identified as Dean Henderson replacement.
Sam Johnstone of West Bromwich Albion identified as Dean Henderson replacement. David Klein/Sportimage

Henderson was last seen at Old Trafford for the 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup. Heading to penalties, the England international was unable to make a save as United crashed out of the cup competition in the fourth round.

Free transfer

Johnstone is out-of-contract at the Baggies at the end of the season, which means that the Red Devils can snap him up for free without any hassles. The former United man came through the academy at Carrington and departed in 2018 in search of first-team football elsewhere.

de Gea was the first choice keeper for United back then as well, and if the club decides to re-sign Johnstone, then the academy graduate will have to play understudy to the Spaniard once again as United’s number 1 shows no signs of slowing down.

Dean Henderson could depart United in search of first-team football elsewhere. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Dean Henderson could depart United in search of first-team football elsewhere. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Henderson is an excellent keeper, and there is no doubting the United man’s shot-stopping ability. The Englishman has proven that he has what it takes to be the number 1 for a Premier League side as well, impressing for Sheffield United on loan a couple of seasons ago.

For a short while last season, Henderson seemed to have replaced de Gea as United’s first-choice keeper after the former Atletico Madrid player went through a terrible run of form. However, this season has seen the Spain international come back stronger, as Henderson has had to make do with cup appearances.

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No one can blame Henderson for wanting to seek first-team football outside Manchester, with the player proving in the past that he is good enough to succeed at the top in the Premier League. The goalkeeper has European experience as well with United, and any club interested in him in the summer will be gaining an excellent addition to their defence.

Johnstone, meanwhile, would find himself back to where it started for the Englishman if United make a move for him as a Henderson replacement ahead of the new season. Since the player departed the club the first time around for first-team football, it remains to be seen whether he would settle for the same role at his former club as last time.

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