Man United FC

Ten Hag’s five reason for signing Andre Onana over two other targets as goalkeeper struggles

Andre Onana has faced a challenging initiation as Manchester United’s primary goalkeeper, with Erik ten Hag’s squad trailing in both the Premier League and Europe.

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The selection of Andre Onana as Manchester United’s new goalkeeper was preceded by an examination of alternative options, and his distinctive personality is said to have played a significant role in his recruitment.

In a summer transfer worth £47 million, Onana made the move from Inter Milan after helping the Italian side reach the final of last season’s Champions League. However, the former Ajax star has faced a challenging period in Manchester, with notable errors affecting his team’s performance both in domestic fixtures and in the Champions League.

Since replacing David de Gea as the team’s goalkeeper, the 27-year-old has endured criticism, with some fans harboring the belief that De Gea, who is currently without a club, could make a return to Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, Manchester United remains committed to their recent acquisition, applying the same rationale used when signing Onana’s teammates, Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro.

According to ESPN, Manchester United considered other goalkeeper options, including David Raya and Diogo Costa, before ultimately settling on Onana.

Spanish goalkeeper Raya ultimately secured a move to Arsenal on an initial loan basis, with an option to make his transfer from Brentford permanent. Meanwhile, Portuguese star Costa opted to remain with Porto.

Onana’s performances for Inter Milan are reported to have left a positive impression on Manchester United’s recruitment department, but that is not the only factor in his favor.

Inter Milan kept five clean sheets in six Champions League knockout matches last season, including a 3-0 aggregate victory over AC Milan. His character, alongside his goalkeeping prowess, was recognized as a crucial asset.

ESPN highlights that personality was equally significant in the signings of Casemiro and Martinez, both of whom were acquired in the summer of 2022.

Despite their contributions to the squad’s third-place finish in the league and Carabao Cup victory, Martinez has encountered challenges with injuries this season, and Casemiro’s form has seen a decline.

Former Premier League goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has raised the question of whether Ten Hag should consider benching Onana.

In his analysis for Optus Sport, Schwarzer draws parallels to Claudio Bravo’s experience when joining Manchester City, highlighting the importance of adapting to the team’s style and the unique challenges faced by goalkeepers transitioning to different systems.

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