Andre Onana could transform Man United


Andre Onana has the potential to be a transformative signing for Manchester United.

That isn’t something said too often about a goalkeeper but the Cameroonian, who United hope to sign from Inter Milan for around £43million, could take Erik ten Hag‘s team to the next level.

Onana, 27, is very well known to United’s manager given they spent four-and-a-half years working together at Ajax, but it’s fair to say it wasn’t always straightforward between them.

Nonetheless, it’s clear Ten Hag wants Onana to succeed David de Gea as United’s No 1 and this offers us plenty of clues about how the Dutchman wants his team to play going forward.

In many ways, Onana has a totally contrasting style to De Gea.

That became more and more apparent last season, with mistakes also creeping into his game.

Onana would replace long-standing United No 1 David de Gea following his departure

De Gea made high-profile errors against Brentford, West Ham and Sevilla, before being held responsible for Ilkay Gundogan’s winning goal for Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

He often looked skittish when in possession of the ball and lacked the distribution skills beyond the simplest of short passes, usually to Lisandro Martinez when the Argentine was playing.

But, as he showed to a huge audience in Inter’s Champions League final defeat to City last month, Onana is entirely comfortable with the ball at his feet and has a mixed range of passing any outfield player would be proud of.

Regular watchers of Serie A already knew this. In league matches last season, Onana completed all 224 short passes he attempted and 98 per cent of medium-range passes, according to FBref.

When it came to pinged long balls forward to Inter’s forwards, 54.7 per cent found their target. In total, Onana completed 81.3 per cent of his 1030 attempted passes.

It was this that saw him usurp Samir Handanovic as Inter’s first-choice last season, playing every single minute of their Champions League run.

De Gea’s pass completion in his 38 Premier League games last season was 71.1 per cent and 43.6 per cent when it came to attempted long balls. So Onana has a clear edge when it comes to distribution.