Man Utd boss Solskjaer thanks Sheffield United for developing Dean Henderson into top talent during two-year loan stint

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER says he owes Sheffield United a big thank you for the development of Dean Henderson.

The England new boy spent two years on loan at Bramall Lane – helping the Blades to promotion and then survive their first season in the top flight.

Now he is back with the Red Devils and is putting No1 David de Gea under serious pressure, as well as challenging for a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

And Solskjaer says United will reap the benefit in years to come of Chris Wilder’s work with Henderson, 23. 

On Thursday, the keeper will be part of the United squad which heads for South Yorkshire to take on the Premier League’s basement boys.  

Solskjaer said: “It just shows how sometimes beneficial some loan deals are.

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“Dean has worked his way up through the system and his years at Sheffield United have made him come back more mature.

“He had great experiences there – getting promotion and staying in the Premier League – and they were very valuable for us and him.

“He’s gone on to make his England debut.

“Back here he is learning more and more about the Manchester United style.

“It’s a bit different, there are different demands, but we are grateful to Sheffield United for giving him a chance to develop as he did.”

The Blades are currently rooted to the bottom of the league with just one point and Solskjaer has some sympathy with Wilder.

The Norwegian experienced the pain of relegation while he was in charge of Cardiff – but says his opposite number is mentally tough.

He said: “Of course it’s not nice position, you want your players to play every game with confidence.

“I’ve been there with Cardiff – it was a new experience, a learning experience and very valuable.

“I didn’t enjoy it with the results and the relegation but as a manager, there are not many who won’t feel the pressure at one point.

“I’ve felt it and it’s the same with Chris and Slaven Bilic now –  you have to be mentally strong as a manager. I’m sure they are.”

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