News18 | With some international tournaments set to be held in mid-January, clubs will miss the services of several first-team players during that period. Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana is one of such footballers, who will stay out of club assignments to represent Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations. His absence will certainly make the task difficult for United boss Erik Tan Hag, who will be left with just one back-up option to protect the last line of defence. In a bid to keep Onana as long as possible, Manchester United have come to an amicable agreement with the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT).
As the African Cup of Nations is slated to begin on January 14, Andre Onana could have jetted off to his homeland a few days ago. If he would leave Manchester next week, the Cameron international would miss a couple of big games. Manchester United will play their FA Cup third-round match against Wigan Athletic on January 9 before featuring in a major Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at home on the following Sunday.
Considering the importance of both matches, the United hierarchy urged the Cameroonian Football Federation to permit Onana to play the Tottenham game before leaving on international duty. As the condition has been agreed, Onana will first compete in the Premier League game on January 14 before taking the flight to Ivory Coast to join his national teammates.
Cameron will begin their campaign at the AFCON with a match against Guinea on January 15. If they manage to progress from the group stage, Onana might miss a few more Manchester United games. The final of the continental tournament is scheduled for February 11. During that period, the Red Devils are set to face off against Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa in the Premier League. On the back of Onana’s departure, Turkish keeper Altay Bayindir is expected to make his debut for Manchester United.
Andre Onana joined Manchester United from Inter Milan in the summer of 2023. When the deal was finalised, it was understood that Onana would not participate at the AFCON. The 27-year-old had bid adieu to international football back in 2022 due to a dispute with FECAFOOT president Samuel Eto’o. Onana, however, later reversed his decision and earned a call-up for the AFCON.