Manchester United are heading for their Chelsea moment after Crystal Palace draw


Back in 2014, Chelsea had two top goalkeepers on their books. In the end, Jose Mourinho was forced to leave Petr Cech out with Thibaut Courtois simply too good to leave on the bench. And Manchester United may now be heading towards a similar situation after their goalless draw with Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.

There were few positives for United against Palace.

Bruno Fernandes’ mini rut continued at Selhurst Park, with the Portugal international failing to score or assist for the third game in a row.

Marcus Rashford was also a negative, with the England international producing a flat performance on the night.

And Mason Greenwood continued to struggle, too. His last goal came in the 3-2 victory over Liverpool in January, while he’s managed just one Premier League goal all season.

The performance of Henderson, however, was a shining light amid the doom and gloom mood that, once again, is threatening to engulf the club.

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Solskjaer was coy on the Spain international after the game, merely saying: “I can’t really say about David, it’s a private matter.

“Dean is ready if he’s called upon, you saw that. He kept his concentration.

“I think maybe it would have been called offside [against Van Aanholt] but at the moment I thought that Dean saved us a point because it looked like that was a deciding moment and that was probably the biggest chance of the game, apart from Marcus in the first-half.”

In 2014, Chelsea were in a similar situation.

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They had to decide on whether to stick with Cech, arguably the best goalkeeper the Premier League has ever seen during his prime days, or promote Courtois.

And Jose Mourinho, in the end, decided to twist.

Mourinho sensed Courtois was simply too good to leave out. If he didn’t play the Belgium international, he’d risk losing him.

While Cech was brilliant between the sticks, he did start to wane towards the end of his time at Stamford Bridge. Arsenal, upon bringing him to the Emirates Stadium, didn’t appear to get the memo.

Sound familiar?

There’s no denying De Gea is still a good goalkeeper. He’s still capable of the sublime, as showcased with his impressive performance against Chelsea last time out.

But Henderson, certainly, is the future.

A mistake in a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United aside, the 23-year-old has done precious little wrong this season. And, at seven years his team-mate’s junior, he could now be about to stake his claim.

Courtois made himself undroppable during his first season at Chelsea, pushing Cech towards the door.

So it’s feasible Henderson could do the same if, as expected, he’s set to be United’s No 1 for the foreseeable future.

Next up for the Red Devils is a crunch showdown with Manchester City on Sunday.

And if Henderson stars in that showdown, keeping Pep Guardiola’s star-studded attack at bay, then it could be the turning point in his United career.





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