Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report | OneFootball

Icon: EPL Analysis

EPL Analysis

·26 June 2020

Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

Dean Henderson‘s productive season is forcing pressure on Jordan Pickford and David De Gea, for the top spot in the England and Manchester United squads respectively. The 23-year-old is setting the Premier League alight while on loan at Sheffield United. He has kept 11 clean sheets this season, tied for the most in the league. His defensive impact has carried the relegation favourites into 8th place, sitting above all expectations. This scout report will explain a tactical analysis of Henderson’s attributes, his role in Chris Wilder’s tactics, and his future at Manchester United.

Background

Henderson moved from Carlisle to the Manchester United academy aged just 14. He featured heavily for the U18’s side before leaving on loan for first-team experience. The former cricket player made his senior club debut in 2016 with Stockport County in the fifth division of English football. He also had loan spells with Grimsby Town, Shrewsbury Town, and Sheffield United. Most notably, he was named in the League One PFA Team of the Year (17/18), Sheffield United Young Player of the Year (18/19), and EFL Championship Golden Glove (18/19).

Last season, Henderson was a mainstay in the Sheffield team, playing every minute of their campaign that ended in promotion into the Premier League. In 46 games, he kept 21 clean sheets and only conceded 41 goals.

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

The most sought after attribute in a goalkeeper is not shot-stopping, but reliability. Confidence between the sticks calms a defence. A mistake from Henderson more likely than not ends up in a goal. Because of this, goalkeepers need to maintain positivity when they do inevitably make mistakes. After a disappointing mistake against the Liverpool earlier this season, Henderson improved his concentration and conceded only two goals and kept three clean sheets in the next five matches. That one mistake has been his only mistake leading to goal this season.

Shot stopping and positioning

Henderson has proven his reliability in goal in his early career and his talent has earned valuable points for his teams. In Sheffield’s fight for promotion, his heroics led to seven clean sheets in the final seven games of the season. As a result, Sheffield earned automatic promotion into the Premier League. This year is no different. This analysis displays the save percentages of all Premier League goalkeepers. The young shot-stopper ranks 4th with a save percentage of 76.85%.

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

Not only is Henderson saving over 3/4 of the shots he faces, but he is facing difficult shots as well. The statistic expected goals, or xG, assigns a score to each shot, representing the likelihood of that shot resulting in a goal. For example, if a chance is described as 0.5xG it should be scored 50% of the time. It is the best publically available metric for evaluating shot quality.

In order to analyze this further, I subtracted the xG of each Premier League goalkeeper by the total amount of goals they conceded. This created xG against minus goals conceded, or xG difference. If a player’s xG difference is low then they have exceptional shot-stopping quality or luck. In this analysis, Henderson ranks fourth with -7.43 xG difference. In contrast, a tactical analysis of Alisson, the Liverpool goalkeeper, boasted an 81.03% save percentage, the best in the league. However, his xG difference is only -1.76, ranking him 10th. Alisson’s opponents are forced into poor shot selections, boosting his save percentage. Henderson’s lack of protection highlights his numbers further. Notably, De Gea, the Manchester United goalkeeper, has an xG difference of 0.61, displaying his below-average shot-stopping this season.

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

In the Premier League, three out of four penalty kicks are scored. Henderson’s quick reflexes make him a penalty specialist. This chart shows all 20 penalties that he has faced since 2015. Surprisingly, he was beaten only 9 times out of the 20 penalties he faced, a 55% save ratio compared to the standard 25%.

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

Distribution

Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report
Article image:Dean Henderson 19/20 – scout report

Can he be Manchester United’s #1?

Henderson’s epic rise into the top flight of English football has turned more than a few eyes his way. If he continues to improve in a similar fashion, he will dethrone Spanish #1, De Gea. Although De Gea has been spectacular for the Red Devils throughout his career, his performances have declined in recent years. This season, as seen in this scout report, Henderson outranks the Spaniard in almost every metric.

Former Manchester United captain, Gary Neville, urged caution over the change in command. “What I don’t buy into is the idea that Dean Henderson can just go in that goalmouth area at the Stretford End and adapt to the demands of being a Man Utd goalkeeper. It takes a special character… There’s no escape at this club and that’s why I’d just be a little bit cautious over Dean Henderson. With respect to Sheffield United, it’s very different making a mistake for Manchester United.”

View publisher imprint