Home » Andre Onana’s Anfield performance stands head and shoulders above David de Gea’s last outing

Andre Onana’s Anfield performance stands head and shoulders above David de Gea’s last outing

by Alex Browne

Andre Onana has had a tough start to life as Manchester United’s first choice goalkeeper.

The keeper arrived to the club with much fanfare due to his famed ball-playing skills. Moreover, many fans had become disillusioned with previous goalkeeper, David de Gea’s, decline.

Not many would argue that the Spanish international isn’t a legend for the club but a large body of fans had begun to feel that the keeper was holding United back from playing a modern style due to his inability to play out from the back. This was brutally exposed versus Sevilla in the Europa League quarter final last season.

Onana, conversely, was praised by UEFA as being more of a midfielder than a sweeper keeper in Inter Milan’s run to the Champions League final.

However, football and especially life at Old Trafford as of late, is rarely that simple.

The Cameroonian has had an incredibly mixed start to life as Manchester United’s keeper as he conceded a huge number of goals in Europe and made some costly blunders versus Bayern Munich and Galatasaray. On the other hand, he has kept the most clean sheets in the Premier League and played very well in the team’s recent credible draw at Anfield.

Now, a series of statistics have appeared on X (formerly twitter) that compare Onana’s performance versus De Gea’s last game at Liverpool’s stadium, where the team conceded seven. All statistics come from Statman Dave.

The football analyst claims that the figures show that Andre Onana’s performance was a “major improvement” on that of De Gea’s last campaign.

The Cameroonian’s passing was significantly better as he both attempted and completed many more than the Spaniard. Whilst De Gea only had 29 touches, the Cameroonian had over double with 57.

Moreover, the Spanish international only completed 11 of said passes, Onana made almost triple that number, 30 in total.

Onana also helped his team keep possession further up the pitch by connecting with 17 long passes versus De Gea’s paltry 5. However, it is obvious that the Cameroonian would have better statistics with his feet, as Onana is clearly much better on the ball.

The most interesting figures show the number 24 was also a much better traditional shot-stopping goalkeeper in this game. The African has faced a lot of criticism about his unorthodox style and a recent report relayed by The Peoples Person called out the former Ajax’s man tendency to parry the ball and put his defence under unnecessary pressure.

Nonetheless, the Cameroonian heavily outperformed De Gea in this regard to. The Madrid born keeper only made one save in the whole game last year whereas Onana made eight such interventions.

Additionally, the former Inter man prevented 1.37 goals according to his actions. The Spaniard on the other hand let in 3.08 more goals than you would have expected. The most obvious yet damning result of all is that Onana kept a clean sheet where De Gea suffered the embarrassment of conceding seven in total.

In the interest of fairness, it is never only the keeper’s fault. United’s defence was much better on Sunday than it was back on that terrible day in March. Moreover, De Gea has also had his fair share of great saves and heroic moments versus Liverpool and many other teams in England.

However, rather than a critique of De Gea, these statistics could be used to show that there is something to work with Andre Onana and maybe the club and fans would be better off just riding out this season with him and hopefully, with experience of the league, the kinks will be ironed out and a truly great ball-playing keeper will be at the service of the club for the foreseeable future.

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