Edinson Cavani’s arrival off the bench at half-time in Manchester United’s match against Southampton on Sunday was rightly seen as the turning point in the game.
United were trailing 2-0 at the break, with forwards Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood both squandering chances in front of goal. Cavani’s introduction had an immediate impact and he scored two goals and assisted Bruno Fernandes as the team raced to a thrilling 3-2 victory.
But Cavani was not the only player to be introduced at half-time. Goalkeeper Dean Henderson was brought on for the injured David de Gea and The Mail’s Adam Shergold believes that the 23-year-old’s introduction also played a huge part in the side’s revival.
While not having too many saves to make, Henderson kept a clean sheet and looked neat and confident, but it was his vocal presence that Shergold believes contributed most to the comeback.
‘What observers both inside the stadium and those watching on TV at home noticed was how vocal Henderson was during that second-half,’ Shergold writes.
‘The loudest player in United colours, it was Henderson urging his team-mates to push forward in pursuit of the winner while organising things to ensure they couldn’t be stung on the counter.
‘It didn’t go unnoticed that it was his voice, rather than that of captain Harry Maguire or Bruno Fernandes, that echoed loudest around the empty St Mary’s Stadium.
‘In a season when United have been accused of lacking leadership on the pitch, it was certainly refreshing.’
United fans who were brought up on the likes of Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar are aware of the importance of a commanding figure organising and motivating from the back. It is something that despite his technical brilliance has never been a part of De Gea’s game. It is something United have dearly missed in recent years.
‘Dean played well,’ United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the game.
‘He’s a keeper who has been used to being vocal. He wants to organise the team.
‘He had a couple of tidy saves to make. He was safe with his hands.
‘After the first half, we played well again.’
United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.