Dean Henderson has told Sheffield United’s official website that he was on the verge of joining Leeds United on loan in 2018 before speaking to Chris Wilder.
Henderson is enjoying his second loan spell with the Blades. His first season saw Wilder’s side put themselves right in the Championship promotion mix.
With Norwich City able to pull away from the rest of the division, the battle for the second automatic-promotion spot looked set to come down to Sheffield United and Leeds, with the former coming out on top.
But interestingly, the Manchester United-owned youngster has revealed that he could have been plying his trade at Elland Road had he not taken a last minute call from his agent.
“Every club in The Championship were after me at the time,” he told the club’s official website. “I’d been down to Leeds, and it looked as though I was signing there. Bristol City were very keen as well, and then my agent rang me and said that Sheffield United had been on the back burner.
“I said to him ‘Why haven’t you told me?’, because I really wanted to go there. The gaffer rang me, we spoke on the phone for an hour, and to be honest I was walking there before I even put the phone down. I was just buzzing to come to Bramall Lane. It has been the best decision of my career so far.”
Did Henderson’s decision hurt Leeds?
It was actually Henderson who gifted Leeds the three points when the two sides met at Bramall Lane last season. He gave the ball to Jack Clarke in the later stages of the game, and that allowed the winger to play in Pablo Hernandez to put the ball into an empty net for the winning goal.
But despite that error, Leeds fans would be forgiven for wondering whether signing Henderson – who earns £10,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – could have changed their season.
Neither Bailey Peacock-Farrell or Kiko Casilla will look back on their form from last season with much fondness. Casilla, in particular, seemed to capitulate as Leeds came within touching distance of promotion.
Of course, there are no guarantees that Leeds would have been any better off with Henderson between the sticks. But given how close they came, Whites supporters may well feel that a more reliable stopper would have got them across the line.