Sheffield United beat-off competition from a host of Championship rivals, including Norwich City, to sign goalkeeper Dean Henderson.
Chris Wilder, who last night sold midfielder Louis Reed to Peterborough, unveiled the 21-year-old as his first signing of the summer transfer window following talks with the youngster’s parent club Manchester United.
Henderson, who will spend next season on loan at Bramall Lane, was being lined-up for a move to Carrow Road after helping Shrewsbury Town reach the League One play-off final three weeks ago.
Paul Hurst, his former manager at Montgomery Waters Meadow, was also monitoring the England under-21 international having taken charge of Ipswich Town. But Wilder secured Henderson’s services following talks with coaching staff at Old Trafford where, after previously agreeing temporary deals for Joe Riley and James Wilson, he boasts an array of top-level contacts.
“This is a big one for us, as Dean was certainly a target for rival clubs in our division,” Wilder said.
“It is a position you’ve got to get right in terms of not only ability, but character too and we have no doubt following chats between myself, Dean and Darren (Ward), that we’ve got both.
“Dean is a confident boy, who has proved himself wherever he has been. He is positive and most importantly a winner and he will handle the pressure of coming here.”
Henderson, who has also been capped at youth level, is set to compete with Simon Moore and Jake Eastwood for a starting role in Wilder’s side. Like Wilson and Riley, who spoke to his old team mate before the move, Henderson has been given no guarantees about regular first team football.
Wilder, who had been searching for a new goalkeeper following Jamal Blackman’s return to Chelsea, added: “He had a fantastic season for Shrewsbury, playing a starring role in what they achieved last year, and he is someone we’ve tracked for quite a while now.
“We’re well stocked now in what is a crucial department at any level and we’ve got very healthy competition for that number one jersey.”
Hours after Henderson’s arrival, Reed completed his switch to London Road. The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at Chesterfield and was a target for his new manager Steve Evans during the Scot’s spell with Mansfield Town. United inserted a clause entitling them to a percentage of any future transfer fee involving Reed, into the deal before sanctioning his departure.
The Steelphalt Academy graduate made 59 appearances for United.