Dean Henderson dig at Manchester United could actually be good news for Erik ten Hag

Dean Henderson embraces two of his Crystal Palace teammates after winning away ay Liverpool.
Dean Henderson is a big fan of Michael Olise (left). -Credit:Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images.

With just over a month to go until the summer transfer window officially opens for business, reports linking Manchester United with Crystal Palace ace Michael Olise are intensifying.

United have been heavily linked with the 22-year-old in recent months amid their plan to freshen up their attack. It is understood United have pinpointed three positions they want to strengthen as a priority ahead of next season and the addition of an attacker is among them.

Olise, who joined Palace from Reading in 2021, is a multifunctional operator, capable of playing as a No.10 or out wide. However, he is at his best when cutting inside off the right flank and onto his left foot.

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Despite strengthening their right-wing options in the last few years, signing both Jadon Sancho and Antony in successive summers, that side of the attack remains a long-term problem for United. Alejandro Garnacho has offered flashes of promise down that side, but his natural role remains on the left.

United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who has grand ambitions to restore the club to its former glories, has suggested he wants to take the club's recruitment policy down a different path, presumably one that will see them sign young and upcoming players. Olise fits that category.

Despite only being 22, the Frenchman has a respectable record in the Premier League, featuring 11 goals and 20 assists in 79 games. He has scored seven times and registered four assists in just 16 outings this term, suggesting he is continuing to get better and better.

And in the eyes of former United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, Olise and his teammate Eberechi Eze rank among the best players he has ever played with.

"It's lovely to watch the way they rotate, the confidence they have on the ball," said Henderson, speaking to the South London Press in January. "They are top, top players and it's great to see.

"I'm with them every day, so I sort of know them well. It's good going up against them in training and they enjoy shooting at us as well.

Michael Olise wheels away to celebrate after scoring for Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Michael Olise (centre) is being heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford. -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

"They can be as good as they want to be. The pair of them are probably the best two players I've actually played with, which is strange."

Henderson, of course, played with some star-studded names during his Old Trafford career, meaning his comments about Olise and Eze could be viewed as a dig at United. Nevertheless, his glowing assessment of Olise is one that highlights how highly the youngster is rated.

Despite his injury problems this season, Olise's statistics make impressive reading. Coupling this season's tally of seven goals and four assists with last season's tally of direct goal contributions in the Premier League means he has scored nine goals and grabbed 15 assists in his last 53 appearances. A very respectable record.

United need to add a multifunctional presence to their attacking line and Olise would provide that option. His injury record this season is an understandable concern from a supporters' perspective, but there is no doubting his talent levels.