What a season it has been for Sheffield United so far.
Many expected the Blades to be relegated straight back to the Championship – Adrian Durham even lambasted them for not taking the Premier League seriously due to their transfer dealings – but they have been one of the stories of the campaign.
As it stands, they are currently in seventh position in the table, and have a game in hand on everyone above them other than Manchester City. A win when English football resumes would see them climb up to fifth.
Dean Henderson has played an integral role for Chris Wilder’s side, and that has been reflected by the rise in his Transfermarkt value.
When he joined the Yorkshire outfit on loan from Manchester United in the summer of 2018, he was worth just £900,000 – now, that number stands at £16.2m.
Here, we take a look at three reasons behind that increase.
Last season was Henderson’s second full campaign in professional football. He impressed for Shrewsbury Town during the 2017/18 term, managing an impressive 82.4% save percentage rate, but it was his first term with the Blades when his performances got the reward they deserved. As the Bramall Lane club finished second in the Championship and earned promotion, the 23-year-old had a save ratio of 73.5%, kept 21 clean sheets and played in all 46 matches.
The 41 goals they conceded was the joint-best in the division – it was no surprise that Wilder was eager to see him return to the club.
Unsurprisingly, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was looking on from Manchester United with interest, and will have enjoyed the impressive displays he produced in the second tier – the Norwegian and the rest of the club’s hierarchy obviously want to keep him at the club.
Just last summer, after only signing a new contract in 2018, he agreed a three-year deal that will see him stay on the books of the Red Devils until 2022 – an option for another year is also included. It goes without saying that putting pen to paper for a club like the 20-time English champions will only boost your market value.
For Sheffield United to be competitive in the top tier, Wilder needed all of his players to up their game from how they performed in the Championship. Fortunately for the boss, Henderson has done just that – he has a save percentage ratio of 75.8% this season, which is better than all but three other shot-stoppers in the division, whilst only Nick Pope (11) has managed more than his 10 clean sheets.
Jordan Pickford’s poor form at Everton – he has the second-lowest save ratio in the top flight – has even led to Henderson being tipped to start for England at the European Championships.
With that tournament now being postponed until next year, he now has another 12 months to prove his worth to Gareth Southgate.