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On the 20th of July, Manchester Confirmed the transfer of Andre Onana from Inter Milan. The Cameroonian goalkeeper has signed a five-year contract at Manchester United after the club agreed a fee of around £43m with Inter Milan for his services.
The ex-Ajax stopper, who worked under Erik Ten Hag during his time in Amsterdam, will replace David de Gea as United’s number-one goalkeeper after the Spaniard’s contract expired at the end of last season. There had been much debate about whether De Gea would sign a new deal at Old Trafford but Ten Hag ultimately decided to move forward with a new goalkeeper.
Onana has been widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe for several seasons now and has kept 104 clean sheets in 255 club appearances throughout his career. The main reason for his signing, however, is thought to be due to his ability to play comfortably with his feet – something de Gea struggled with at times last season.
With Onana set to join up with the United squad on their pre-season tour of the US in the coming days, Erik Ten Hag has revealed in an interview with the Club’s official website why he had made Onana his number one goalkeeper this summer, despite reports that he was looking at other goalkeeping options.
“Football demands playing from the back”
Talking about his new signing, the United manager referenced several facets of his new goalkeeper’s game that please him the most. He said:
“Most important, always for a keeper, is clean sheets and he’s not doing that on his own. Therefore, you need a very good defensive organisation, which is quite clear. But also the capabilities of a keeper are about keeping the goal clean. So this is the first criterion of a good goalkeeper.
“But, nowadays, football also demands good playing from the back, out-playing qualities, and that is a quality Andre has. You need both and you need to cover both areas. So yeah, we’re happy, of course.
“I think with his physical presence and also with his personality, he is so keen on winning. He’s so, so eager to win trophies and he will help the team and he will help the squad to get to higher levels.”
‘Onana will help Man Utd reach higher levels.’ 🔺
Erik ten Hag discusses the signing of Andre Onana and the goalkeeper’s hunger to win trophies. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/e0jcZ1d7bx
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 21, 2023
Re-uniting with Martinez
The signing of Onana also reunites the Cameroonian with Lisandro Martinez. The Argentinian centre-back enjoyed a good relationship with Onana when the pair played together at Ajax and Ten Hag is understandably excited about the prospect of the two of them playing at the back for United, too. The Dutchman said:
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