A smart shot-stopper, good with his feet and a commanding communicator, Dean Henderson brings with him a myriad of skills and experiences honed over a well-considered journey.
Graduating from Manchester United’s academy, Henderson has played in five of the six top leagues in the English football pyramid, growing from his first senior matches – on loan as a teenager in non-league with Stockport County – to playing for England and in the UEFA Champions League.
Those familiar with Henderson’s story so far will also recognise the impressive amount of experience – his Palace debut will be his 200th senior appearance – he has accrued at just 26-years-old, a relatively young age for a goalkeeper.
And wherever he has gone, praise and success has swiftly followed; Henderson secured the Championship Golden Glove as Sheffield United won promotion to the Premier League in 2018/19, and has since kept 24 clean sheets in 67 top-flight games for the Blades, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest.
“I’m a confident lad,” Henderson told cpfc.co.uk. “I think that stems from playing a lot of games at a young age, and playing well, so I’m just looking forward to getting back to that.
“I like to be a leader on the pitch. I like to communicate really well and hold high support positions to help my back four out.
“I like to think I’ve got a big save in me. That’s what I like to model my game on: that modern goalkeeping style.
“I try to stay calm and enjoy everything. I’m 26 now, but I feel like I was 17 yesterday. For me, I’ve just got to enjoy it the most I can and the best I can, because before you know it, it’ll be all over.
“I believe you’ve just got to take each day at a time, take everything in, and try and do the best that you can.”