Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Andre Onana will be Manchester United’s most important signing…

(Photo by Mattia Ozbot – Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

Manchester United have have announced the signing signing of goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Onana has joined Manchester United on a contract running until June 2028, with the option of a further year, subject to international clearance. Erik ten Hag was looking for a new number 1 after David De Gea’s contract expired on July 1st and Onana was always top of his list. The two worked together at Ajax and Onana’s style could transform the way United play going forward.

The Cameroonian International is more than comfortable with the ball at his feet, most recently displaying his ability on the ball in Inter’s Champions League final loss to Manchester City. Onana broke City’s first line of pressure with ease multiple times and was able to kickstart attacks for his side throughout the final. His quality on the ball would provide a significant boost to United in build-up as he can provide multiple solutions to beating an opposition high press due to his excellent passing range. Onana can play disguised short passes to the centre-backs, clip the ball to the full-backs with either foot and can find players through traffic in the midfield.

He is also capable of going long and showed his passing range in the Champions League final as he was tasked with picking out Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku who played as Inter’s target men. Onana’s distribution would allow Ten Hag to be more flexible with his tactical set-up from goal kicks, giving United the ability to surprise opponents. To contrast this, on multiple occasions in the FA Cup final last season David De Gea gave the ball away to Manchester City players when attempting to go long, making it difficult for United to establish possession in the match.

Onana would also allow Manchester United to play a higher line and press higher up the pitch. The ex-Ajax goalkeeper is confident stepping off his line to sweep up balls that are played in behind and will even control and dribble with the ball from these situations at times. One of the reasons United couldn’t press high consistently last season was due to David De Gea’s reluctance to come off his line if a ball was played in behind.

Signing Onana alongside Mason Mount would indicate Erik ten Hag is looking to implement a high press to allow United to control games consistently next season. Onana also provides an upgrade on De Gea when claiming crosses, according to FBRef De Gea stops 0.4 crosses per 90 whereas Onana stops 0.78 of the crosses he faces. A more authoritative goalkeeper would go a long way in helping United cut down the number of chances they concede from set-piece situations.

Modern goalkeepers can transform their side’s style of play, with the most recent example at the highest level being Alisson at Liverpool. Onana could provide a similar type of impact at Manchester United allowing the team to build up cleanly and sustain pressure through high pressing. Onana was a key part in the football Erik ten Hag played at Ajax and adding him to United would go a long way in helping the Dutchman implement his system at the club.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.