Manchester United’s signing of Andre Onana marks the dawn of a new era at Old Trafford with a new goalkeeper between the sticks for the first time in over a decade.
David de Gea’s exit ended his twelve-year stay at the club and Erik ten Hag has handpicked Onana to take United forward in the coming years.
Onana’s abilities have all the hallmarks of modern goalkeeper with Ten Hag intent on building out from the back.
Tom Heaton was United’s number one during their recent friendly win against Arsenal and he has been impressed with the way the former Inter keeper has settled in, as reported by The Mirror.
“I can see already how he’s going to fit into the manager’s style. He looks really good with his feet and am already picking up a little bit up about how he does things slightly different to what I’ve seen before,” said Heaton.
The 37-year-old cited Liverpool’s Alisson and Manchester City’s Ederson as the blueprint for the modern goalkeeper and says he expects Onana to allow United to play in a similar way.
“In the Premier League we’ve got Ederson and Alisson and they’ve changed that goalkeeping side a little bit. Most teams play that way now. Onana has come in to us now. Time will tell,” added Tom.
Heaton referred to City’s Champions League final against Inter in June as the type of performance he expects from Onana.
The United man says he was impressed with Onana on the day and hopes to learn from him throughout his time at the club.
“I know I’m getting on, but I still try to adapt, still try to learn all the time. I enjoy that side of it and we will see what he brings in.
“I think Pep said it was difficult for them to get on a high press on with him playing like that. I was really impressed with him in that game and I’m looking forward to working with him, competing with him and we’ll see how it plays out,” said Heaton.
Heaton put in a fine display during United’s pre-season victory against the Gunners and can certainly be a more than capable deputy to Onana when called upon.
Onana is expected to feature for the first time in a United shirt against Real Madrid in Houston on Thursday.