ClutchPoints | Manchester United navigates talks to retain Andre Onana for crucial fixtures amid Africa Cup of Nations concerns.
In the corridors of Manchester United, discussions reverberate as the club grapples with the potential absence of Andre Onana during the crucial period of the Africa Cup of Nations Finals. The goalkeeper’s pivotal role and concerns over his prolonged international duty have prompted talks between the Red Devils and Cameroon’s football authorities, seeking a resolution to retain Onana’s services at Old Trafford.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, acknowledging the situation’s complexities, revealed, “When they call him, he has to go. But we are in talks.” The looming prospect of Onana missing up to six games on international duty poses a conundrum, as the goalkeeper fears losing his starting position amid intense competition at the club.
Despite recent errors, Ten Hag remains steadfast in supporting the Manchester United goalkeeper, emphasizing the statistical prowess that places Onana among the Premier League’s elite. “His expected preventing goals is second-best,” Ten Hag noted, underscoring Onana’s commendable performances despite recent high-profile blunders.
The upcoming fixture against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park serves as the next test for Onana. As Manchester United navigates the complexities of managing Onana’s situation, Ten Hag steers his team amidst past confrontations with Newcastle. Reflecting on his previous comments about the opponent’s style, Ten Hag clarified, “The term ‘annoying’ was positive for them. It is a really difficult team to play, so I meant it in a very positive way.”
In the larger context of Manchester United’s aspirations, Ten Hag refutes the notion of sidelining Onana for crucial encounters, asserting, “It won’t help him.” Despite the stakes and the need for crucial wins in domestic and European competitions, Ten Hag maintains faith in Onana’s abilities, believing that the goalkeeper’s contributions will play a pivotal role in the club’s pursuit of silverware.
As negotiations continue and uncertainties loom, Onana’s situation remains a focal point at Old Trafford, with the club balancing the pursuit of immediate success with the need to ensure the goalkeeper’s longevity and stability within the squad.