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Dean Henderson has “taken over” goalkeeping duty at Manchester United, says Paul Scholes, with David de Gea warned that he is going to have to make peace with filling a back-up role for the foreseeable future.
The long-serving Spaniard surrendered his starting berth at Old Trafford when taking a break to celebrate the birth of his first child.
The 30-year-old was absorbed back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the second leg of a Europa League last-16 encounter with AC Milan, but was only named on the bench as England hopeful Henderson secured a sixth clean sheet in a seven-game run.
United legend Scholes told BT Sport on the battle to fill the Red Devils’ number one spot: “I think it’s Henderson now. I think he’s taken over.
“I thought David had been lucky after the Everton game to keep his place. He made a couple of mistakes where he could’ve done better.
“Not glaringly obvious mistakes, but I just feel a bit more confident with Henderson there. It seems a little bit more relaxed.
“I don’t want to have a go at David, David has been an amazing keeper for United, he’s been brilliant and he still will be if Dean doesn’t take his chance.
“I just think the time has come to give him a run of games in the team and see how he does. He’s been picked in the England squad, and I think he possibly should be the number one for England as well if he can maintain this form.
“He made a mistake in the first game, we know that, but he’s shown great character to come back. Again, he’s been really calm, done everything he needed to do and just been quite safe.”
The highly-rated 24-year-old was welcomed back to Old Trafford in the summer of 2020 after taking in two productive season-long loan spells at Sheffield United.
Having helped the Blades to promotion into the Premier League, before consolidating a standing among English football’s elite, regular opportunities were expected to come his way in Manchester.
That was not the case early on, with De Gea favoured by Solskjaer, and only three appearances had been made by late-November.
Henderson was then handed a top-flight debut for the Red Devils when stepping off the bench against Southampton.
He returned to domestic cup and Europa League duty when De Gea shook off a slight knock, but has been able to nail down a starting berth of late.
Henderson, who has been named in the latest England squad, has now taken in 18 outings this season and secured 11 shutouts.