Home » Manchester United season turnaround rests on Andre Onana’s improvement between the sticks

Manchester United season turnaround rests on Andre Onana’s improvement between the sticks

by Mathew Cohen

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana will need to improve his performances between the sticks if his team are to launch a season turnaround following a dismal start to their 2023/24 campaign.

On Wednesday night, Man United lost 4-3 to Bayern Munich in their opening Champions Group group game at the Allianz Arena, thereby marking their fourth defeat in their first six matches in all competitions.

While there were numerous weak points all over the pitch that Erik ten Hag will need to address, one highly concerning aspect of the match was the disappointing performance of Onana.

Bayern’s opening goal came as a result of the 27 year old’s failure to make a routine save, thereby giving the lead to the home side.

In fact, the Cameroonian was so disappointed in his performance that he pinned United’s defeat on himself.

“It’s difficult. I think in the beginning we were good but after my mistake, we lost control of the game… I’m the one who let the team down,” Onana stated during the post-match interview.

United legend Rio Ferdinand agreed with the keeper’s sentiment, explaining that Sane’s shot should have been easily saved by Onana.

Ultimately, Bayern’s opening goal was just one example of Onana’s shot-stopping struggles.

While he was able to achieve an impressive 76.9 save percentage with Inter Milan last season, Onana has only managed to save 64.1% of the shots that he has faced since the start of the current campaign – a statistic he will desperately need to improve upon.

In fact, Onana’s save percentage is the eighth worst in the Premier League, not to mention a primary reason that he has conceded 14 goals in his first six competitive matches in a United jersey.

In the Premier League alone, United’s defence has conceded 10 goals in five matches, making them tied as the third-worst defence in the league.

The presence of such statistics does not suggest that the 27 year old’s performances have only been doom and gloom, however.

Onana’s skill with the ball at his feet has boosted United’s ability to play out from the back, not to mention that he has achieved 100% success with his run outs in the Premier League as well as 92% passing accuracy in his own half. (Sofascore)

Ultimately, Onana has the ability to be a world-class goalkeeper for United and live up to his price tag, but until he improves his shot-stopping and lives up to his potential, United will have a hard time turning their season around.

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