Will Dean Henderson be able to play the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United?

Dean Henderson Carabao Cup semi-final
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As Nottingham Forest progressed to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, Dean Henderson would have been praying Forest weren't drawn out of the hat to face Manchester United, his parent club, in the final-four of the tournament.

Of course, that duly happened, with the two-legged semi-final scheduled for the final two weeks of January. Consequently, Henderson is unable to play in the games, due to regulations regarding loan players. 

Indeed, Article 6.3 of the Carabao Cup rules and regulations states: "Players registered on a temporary basis will not be able to play unless the club holding his full registration gives its written consent."

On a season-long loan at Nottingham Forest from Manchester United, Henderson helped the East Midlands side beat Wolves in the quarter-finals, his two saves in the penalty shootout from Ruben Neves and Joe Hodge ensuring his side progressed to the next round.

In the post-match press conference, Forest manager Steve Cooper admitted news of Henderson's unavailability in the semis soured what was overwise a brilliant night. 

"I have only just thought of that, it is frustrating," Cooper said. "After seeing the night Dean had tonight, he was excellent in the penalty shoot-out, but he was good in the game, more than good in the game.

"It's unfortunate. He's part of our group, he is so invested in the group and how we work, what we're trying to accelerate in terms of what we want to become.

"He's really buying into being in the city, and the greater good of the club. So, that [news Henderson will miss the semis against Manchester United] has put a bit of a dampener on it for me, to be honest."

As the rules state, though, there is still potential Henderson will face his parent club, provided they and manager Erik ten Hag provide him with special permission. 

However, in the Premier League fixture at Old Trafford on December 27, Manchester United weren't proactive in allowing Henderson to play. The 25-year-old had to therefore sit in the stands, watching on as Wayne Hennessey conceded three goals without reply. 

Therefore, it seems unlikely United and Ten Hag will provide him with special dispensation to play in the Carabao Cup semi-finals. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.