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Andre Onana rejoins the Cameroon national team

by Darragh Fox

Andre Onana has come out of international retirement to rejoin Cameroon’s national team ahead of their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Burundi.

The potential for this decision was covered in a report by The Peoples Person here, but the official confirmation will come as a significant blow for Manchester United.

Cameroon are expected to beat Burundi and confirm their qualification for next year’s AFCON in Ivory Coast.

The tournament will take place in January 2024 with the first fixture on the 13th. The tournament will last until February 11th.

If Cameroon successfully qualify, Onana could miss up to four Premier League games as a result.

During this period, United host Tottenham on January 13th before going away to Wolves on the 30th. They then play West Ham at home on February 2nd and Aston Villa away on the 10th.

Initially, the tournament had not posed a concern for United when signing Onana. 

The goalkeeper retired from international duty following a dispute with Cameroon’s manager, Rigobert Song, at the World Cup in Qatar.

The pair were reported to have argued over tactics with Onana departing the Cameroonian camp following the opening game against Serbia. He has not played for Cameroon since.

This situation has now reached a full 180, however, with Onana underscoring his commitment to his country: “My commitment to Cameroon remains unwavering, and I am determined to play my part in seeing it prosper.”

Old Trafford officials were reported to be aware of the prospect of Onana rejoining his national side. This perhaps explains the pursuit of Altay Bayindir, signed on the final day of the transfer window from Fenerbahce.

Though Bayindir was signed to be the number two at Old Trafford, he has been entrusted with the number one shirt (given Onana’s personal preference for 24).

He will be assuming the role of number one, however, in the post-Christmas period if Cameroon are successful against Burundi.

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