Dean Henderson 7-0 against David de Gea in penalty saves

by Red Billy

The Athletic has been waxing lyrical about Manchester United’s on-loan goalkeeper Dean Henderson again, this time noting his vast superiority to David de Gea in terms of penalty saving.

Since 2017/18, Henderson has saved seven penalties and only conceded six – a phenomenal record.

Incredibly, the 22-year-old is yet to concede a penalty in either the Premier League or the Championship.

Former United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele explained the secret to the Sheffield-born keeper’s success. ‘The big thing about Dean is how he thrives in one-on-one situations, whether it be in open play or certainly when it gets to the situation of an opposing player putting the ball on the spot.’

‘All the greats … are intimidating to anyone about to take a penalty. They had a presence that could have an unbelievable effect on an opponent. He loves that challenge. It has always been part of him, ever since he was young.’

De Gea’s record is far less impressive. In that same three season period, while Henderson was saving seven of fourteen (with one shot wide), the 29-year-old failed to stop a single spot kick in 12 attempts.

In fact, you have to go back as far as the 2015/16 season to find the last time the Spaniard made a penalty save – against Romelu Lukaku in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

Overall, de Gea has faced 56 penalties in his senior career and saved only 11 of them.

An interesting stat-within-a-stat is that of the 45 penalties that the Spaniard has failed to stop, four were taken by Watford’s Troy Deeney, who will be lining up against the United on Sunday. If the Red Devils are unfortunate enough to concede a spot kick, there would be no better time for the Spaniard to break his duck against Deeney and end the save drought that is fast approaching its fourth anniversary.

With all the recent publicity about whether some of the current squad is good enough to play for Man United, why not remind yourself of some of the worst flops to ever appear at the Theatre of Dreams by doing our quiz below?

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