Andre Onana is still seen as the right man to protect the Manchester United goal by Erik ten Hag and his coaching staff.
This is according to journalist Ben Jacobs, who has recently spoken about the summer signing’s future.
Onana has endured a frustrating start to his Manchester United career, where he has kept the joint most clean sheets in the league but he has committed some blunders, most devastatingly in the Champions League.
This had led to the press linking the Old Trafford side with AC Milan’s French shot stopper, Mike Maignan. Moreover, the club was also seriously interested in the player last summer, before they decided to opt for Onana.
Nonetheless, Jacobs admitted that whilst there have been doubts about the goalkeeper and his ability to succeed at United, this is not the opinion of his manager. The journalist was quick to dispel such thoughts by stating “there is a link with Mike Maignan and the response from sources at the club is that Onana is being backed”.
Jacobs went into more detail on his thoughts about the club’s stance by asserting, “I think that’s smart, because goalkeepers in particular are different characters, they breed off confidence.” The sports reporter also compared the situation to Aaron Ramsdale at Arsenal, who despite enjoying a successful season last year, was replaced by David Raya. This has resulted in indecison and both talented keepers making high profile errors this season.
Erik ten Hag, for his part, has been very supportive of the Cameroon international. Despite admitting the player is not undroppable, he has been very complimentary of his summer signing. The former Ajax coach claimed, “If you analyse it well then you see he is the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League based on stats, so his expected defending goals is the second best in the Premier League”.
The sports commentator agreed with Ten Hag’s approach and stated, “if you help develop the goalkeeper, and support them publicly, as Erik ten Hag has done with Onana, it can actually lead to a more significant improvement”.
Therefore, the links to Maignan at this stage are just “admiration” according to Jacobs and there is no serious interest in signing the player.
To be fair, the Barcelona academy graduate has improved since his nightmare in Munich against Bayern in the Champions League and has put in some solid performances like versus Everton and also a match-winning last-gasp penalty save against Copenhagen.
Onana’s form has also been credited by some when he was placed in WhoScored’s Premier League Team of the Month for November.
Manchester United fans will hope Jacob’s belief and Ten Hag’s faith will result in Onana finding some good form over a packed festive period, starting with this afternoon’s fixture at home to Bournemouth. Finding a consistent, long-term replacement for David de Gea, would be one less headache for the club to have to try and solve.