World Cup-winning coach Paul Simpson tips Whitehaven's Dean Henderson for a bright future


World Cup winner Paul Simpson says west Cumbrian goalkeeper Dean Henderson has all the ingredients to have a big future.

Whitehaven-born Manchester United keeper Henderson was in the England Under-20 squad that achieved international glory under Simpson last weekend.

The former Carlisle United academy player featured in one game in the South Korea tournament as he competed with Freddie Woodman for the first-choice keeper slot.

Newcastle's Woodman proved one of England's heroes, saving a penalty in the final against Venezuela.

But manager Simpson believes his rival for the shirt also has plenty of potential.

"Dean is a very good player and a very good lad," Simpson told the News & Star.

"As he came into the tournament it really was touch and go as to whether it was him or Freddie Woodman who was the first-choice keeper.

"When he joined up for the France competition in March, he was excellent and applied himself really well.

"He was unfortunate with the goal he conceded in this tournament [against Guinea] - it was a freak own-goal that I don’t think you could blame anybody for.

"But the way he's pushed Freddie on the whole of the competition has been really good, and that has driven Freddie to perform.

"He has played a big part and it looks to me like he's going to have a really bright future, because he's a really talented goalkeeper."

Henderson made eight loan appearances for Grimsby last season before being recalled by the Old Trafford giants.

The 20-year-old could make a further loan move next season to gain further first-team football, while West Brom and Everton have also been linked with the young shot-stopper.

Henderson is known as an ambitious young player and Simpson said: "I think you've got to have that confidence. He's at a wonderful football club to be able to develop.

"Hopefully Dean and the rest of the Under-20 squad will develop the way you want them to, so they can go and have top careers.

"Being a World Cup winner is going to take some topping, but hopefully this is the start and they all go on, develop and get opportunities somewhere.

"That's the next challenge Dean has got - to go and play football somewhere."

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