Dean Henderson has revealed how a recommendation from Danny Coyne, the former Sheffield United goalkeeper, helped pave the way for his move to Bramall Lane.
Coyne, now a member of Shrewsbury Town’s coaching staff, worked with the England under-21 international at Montgomery Waters Meadow last season as the League One club reached the League One play-offs.
And Henderson, speaking after being officially unveiled at the Steelphalt Academy, explained his former mentor urged him to accept Chris Wilder’s offer when United’s interest became known.
“To be fair, Danny came on the phone straightaway and said ‘what a club, go there.’ To be honest, a lot of my decision was based on what he told me,” Henderson admitted. “Danny has become a great friend of mine and we had a great working relationship. I was chatting to him the other day about stuff and I know he’s got my best interests at heart.”
Henderson, aged 21, emerged as one of the most sought-after players in the English Football League after joining Town on loan. He is scheduled to spend the 2018/19 Championship season with Wilder’s squad after his parent club Manchester United sanctioned another temporary transfer.
Although Coyne pressed United’s case - he spent eight months in South Yorkshire before retiring five years ago - a number of other factors influenced Henderson’s decision to choose them above Norwich City, Ipswich Town and Leeds who were also chasing his signature.
“Danny also told me ‘the manager is great and Wardy is outstanding,” he said, referring to United’s goalkeeping coach Darren Ward. “Danny told me that Wardy would really look after me in the right way and he’d help to develop me. That’s what everyone wants to here.”
Henderson kept 19 clean sheets during his spell with Town last season; a feat which saw him named in the League One Team of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association. Despite being yet to make his first team debut at Old Trafford, Henderson has already built an exceptional reputation within the game following similarly impressive stints with Grimsby Town and Stockport County.
He is set to compete with Jake Eastwood and Simon Moore for a place in Wilder’s starting eleven, beginning when United play their first warm-up fixture ahead of August 4th’s opener against Swansea City at Stocksbridge Park Steels next weekend.
“To be fair, United came around pretty late on,” Henderson said. “It was not really an option of mine because all the permanents I was looking to go to were wanting loans as well, so I was looking at them first. But then I found out about United; apparently my agent’s agent knew about it for quite a long time.
“It is an hour and a half down the road and a big club. The gaffer is also known for his passion and desire to do well and go in the right direction. The goalkeeper coach is known as a top one. I was told that he would really develop me over the season and enable me to go from strength to strength and get better.”