Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Roy Keane have admitted that they are worried over Andre Onana’s form between the sticks for the Red Devils.
The Cameroon international joined the club from Inter Milan this summer as a replacement for long-standing goalkeeper David de Gea, who was released at the end of his contract.
Onana has since produced a mixed bag of performances for the club. He was fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the curtain-raiser.
It was followed by a high-profile error against Bayern Munich in Europe. The 27-year-old has continued to be error-prone with his distribution and goalkeeping for the Red Devils.
Speaking on the Stick to Football Podcast, Neville said that United had been through a similar phase after Peter Schmeichel’s exit where they had a number of short-term keepers before Edwin van der Sar arrived.
He added that De Gea also endured a difficult start to his United career, but he is concerned how Onana could come out of this tough period with everyone at the club struggling.
He said: “We lived through this period post Peter Schmeichel and before Edwin van der Sar, where we had Mark Bosnich then Fabien Barthez, then we had Roy Carroll, Tim Howard, Ricardo and Massimo Taibi, six goalkeepers we had in a short period of time, and it was unsettling.”
“David de Gea had issues when he first joined but he got out of it, and I think that is something that Onana is going to have to look at. But my worry is ‘Who is that player who is helping Onana through this tricky period?’ as they’re all struggling and look like they’ve got heavy legs. So it does concern me how the goalkeeper is going to come out of this tough period.”
Meanwhile, Keane highlighted that Schmeichel also made mistakes but recovered very quickly. The former United captain is worried over Onana’s poor showing over a long period.
He said: “I remember speaking to different goalkeeper coaches at United and they all say that keepers make mistakes, everyone does, but it’s how you deal with it at a club like United.”
“Peter Schmeichel made loads of mistakes, but he recovered very quickly. However, you’re starting to see mistakes in six or seven games in a row, that is when you start to worry.”
Onana will be determined to redeem himself
Onana had a tremendous 2022/23 season with the Nerazzurri. He made some world-class saves in the Champions League en route to the final against Manchester City.
The Cameroonian was also excellent with his distribution from the back and City manager Pep Guardiola himself admitted that it would be difficult to play with a high press.
His start to his United career has been a difficult one and he will be determined to make amends when the club return to action following the current international break.
United will be away at Sheffield United after the internationals. They then face a crucial period with a Champions League game versus Copenhagen before the Manchester derby.
Onana needs to find his composure between the sticks or else there could be nervousness in the backline which was the case when De Gea was in goal towards the end of last season.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
- Erik ten Hag must pair Sofyan Amrabat with Kobbie Mainoo in midfield vs Bayern
- ‘3-0 looks like a good result’: Gary Neville reacts after Man Utd’s loss to Bournemouth
- Manchester United eyeing RB Leipzig forward Lois Openda ahead of January transfer window
- Erik ten Hag must start Raphael Varane in must-win UCL game vs Bayern
- Manchester United monitoring Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips ahead of potential move, Erik ten Hag a huge fan
- Confirmed Man Utd line-up vs Bournemouth, Reguilon starts
- Erik ten Hag hails Harry Maguire for winning November Player of the Month award, joins Ferdinand and Vidic in the elite list
- Man United make ‘enquiry’ for Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy, available for less than €20 million
- Predicted Man Utd line-up vs Bournemouth, Reguilon starts
- Manchester United send scouts to watch Braga vs Vizela with summer target Matheus Magalhaes in action