Promotion-winning Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson puts country over self

Goalkeeper Dean Henderson said he would rather concede ’three goals through his legs’ and England Under-21s win than the suffer the fate the befell them in their European Championship opener on Tuesday night.

England U21 goalkeeper Dean Henderson tips a shot from France U21's Nanitamo Ikone over the crossbar during the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, Group C match at Dino Manuzzi, Cesena. (Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Henderson – who helped Sheffield United win promotion while on a season-long loan from Sheffield United – impressed despite defeat as he saved Moussa Dembele’s first-half penalty and made several crucial stops in the 2-1 defeat to France in Rimini.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s stoppage-time own goal condemned the 10-man Young Lions to a 2-1 defeat after Jonathan Ikone’s 89th-minute leveller on Tuesday.

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That turned the tie on its head after England led through Phil Foden’s solo goal on 54 minutes.

It now leaves them with a battle to reach the last four, with just the three group winners and best runner-up going through.

“Obviously it was a good game and I played well but I’d change that right now for the three points. I’d rather let three through my legs and we win 4-3,” said Henderson.

“I’m just that sort of character – I’m all in for the team and all in for my country.

“It is one of those nights but I’m sure I’ll have worse games and get the result. I’ll always take the result, all day long.”

Demarai Gray believes England Under-21s can still reach the Euro 2019 semi-finals despite their late collapse against France.

Defeat left England third in Group C, after Romania’s 4-1 win over Croatia, but Gray remains confident of making the semi-finals in Italy.

The Leicester winger said: “Yes, 100 per cent. We are not stressing, not worried. It is important we put goals in the net in the next couple of games.”