Home ยป Erik ten Hag must stick with Andre Onana despite tough start to life at Manchester United

Erik ten Hag must stick with Andre Onana despite tough start to life at Manchester United

by Conner Botterill

Manchester United have suffered a sloppy start to the new campaign, losing more than half of their games in Erik ten Hag’s second season in charge of the club.

The Dutch coach made the huge call to change his goalkeeper in the summer, ending David de Gea’s twelve year stay at Old Trafford.

Inter Milan’s Andre Onana was the man Ten Hag chose to replace the outgoing Spaniard, having worked with him during his successful spell at Ajax.

However, things haven’t quite gone to plan for Onana since his arrival and the Cameroonian has struggled to adapt to life as United’s number one.

Despite a strong showing on his debut, Onana was lucky not to concede a late penalty when he clattered into a Wolves attacker without making contact with the ball.

A few more errors leading to goals, notably in the Champions League and in the dramatic win against Brentford at the weekend, have rocked the 27-year-old’s confidence.

However, there is no doubt the stopper possesses the character to play on the biggest stage having performed so well for Inter Milan last season, helping them reach the Champions League final.

Onana’s quality on the ball is also undeniable and there have been flashes of his ability to play long and short since his arrival.

The keeper is yet to play in front of a settled back four at United and the absence of Lisandro Martinez, who is outstanding on the ball and has a good relationship with Onana, has no doubt played a role in his early struggles.

Luke Shaw is arguably United’s next best defender on the ball and he has also been missing for the majority of the season, leaving Onana playing behind a makeshift backline.

The former Inter man will no doubt feel he should have done better with his shot-stopping at times, having let a couple of soft goals squeeze past him but it looks like a case of him simply trying too hard.

Ten Hag has the option to take the keeper out of the firing line and hand another new signing Altay Bayindir his first minutes at the club but Onana needs to play himself back into form.

With the international break giving Onana a chance to reset, Ten Hag will be hoping he can put a more settled defence in front of the goalkeeper moving forward with players returning from injury.

Onana has gained a reputation as one of the best in the business over the last few years and his confidence crisis can be averted with some better showings in the coming weeks.

No doubt the next spell of games will be crucial to the keeper’s season as United hope their late weekend win can serve as a springboard for a return to form for everyone at the club – including Onana.

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