Andre Onana, the Missing Piece

To begin, David de Gea, thank you so damn much for everything you’ve accomplished with Manchester United. You were my favorite player at the club for almost a decade. You’ve accumulated an immensely long highlight reel of game changing saves. You are a United legend.

Andre Onana. I’m not sure I’ve been this excited about a signing and his potential since Memphis Depay. (Of course, let’s hope Onana’s United career goes a fuck of a lot better than Depay’s) But, Onana’s arrival is the signal of the official beginning of the Eric ten Hag era. The timing of Onana’s breakout season was perfect. No other big club is really in a dire straights situation regarding their goalkeeper. So, United could sweep in and buy potentially the best goalkeeper of this generation. Yep, I said that shit. Andre Onana is the best goalkeeper in the world and it will take ten Hag ball to the next fucking level my dudes.

Perfect Ten Hag Keeper

Andre Onana signed for Manchester United from Inter Milan for a transfer fee of approximately 50 million Euros. The 27 year old Cameroon international signed a 5 year contract and traveled to New York in time for United’s pre season tour of the USA. The Cameroonian came through the Barcelona youth ranks before moving to Ajax. Onana previously played under Eric ten Hag at Ajax before his breakout season with Inter Milan in 22/23. He will now be the first man other than David de Gea to be the club number 1 for Manchester United in 12 years.

For Eric ten Hag, this move absolutely had to happen. From the start of the first match last season we knew ten Hag wants United to play from the back. This just wasn’t possible with a goal keeper like De Gea. I’ll be bold enough to say it but I think De Gea was the single reason United could not get into the title race when it seemed possible around winter.

This had to Happen

Sure, we all know how bad De Gea was for this team’s new style but I don’t think everyone realizes just how bad it was. Teams, like Newcastle for example, were literally developing strategies to force De Gea into making a pass downfield. I’m not sure why De Gea could never develop any sense of passing but he never developed even an ounce. The Spaniard was fucking horrific. How many possessions were lost? How many counter opportunities were just gifted?

It can be hard to spot at times when watching live, but so many of De Gea’s goal kicks could be directly linked to an incisive attack by the opposition. But, praise the fucking Lord, Andre Onana is literally the complete opposite of everything bad De Gea was. Following the UCL final, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “Onana was playing like a holding midfielder. He was in the positions of a holding midfielder. We struggled.” (via Sky Sports). It is known Onana is a special kind of goalkeeper.

Andre Onana is just a Stud

Just let his play speak for him or me (if you’re reading this, which you are…). Onana is the best in the world, no doubt, at literally everything dealing with the feet, even better than Ederson. This man can take a ball down like a piece of gum hits the floor. He can pass like Aaron Rodgers cross the field, no look. The dude can juke out defenders like he’s a knife on butter. Just watch this video…please.

Onana’s dribbling and passing on full despaly.

The fear and doubt coming from several United fans is absurd. Sure, there could be growing pains as there is with any new player but Onana is ‘The’ United goalkeeper and will be for many years to come. Edwin van der Sar spoke glowingly of Onana: “Onana is, some fans call it crazy, but there is always logic behind it. It is rare to find a goalkeeper like him. No one has the confidence of Onana. If United succeed in bringing him in the fans will love him.”

Oh! And I think we can all appreciate Onana just letting Harry Maguire fucking have it!

The Facts Speak

Onana’s ability on ball and willingness to come out of goal are what will make United almost impossible to high press against. This was a message Guardiola echoed following the UCL final. A complete and absolute contrast from David De Gea. (Sorry De Gea, I do love the shit out of you and I hope Real Madrid sign you now.) But, David De Gea literally was the sole reason United lost the FA Cup final to Manchester City. His inability to play passes accurately enabled City to have a high press the entire match. De Gea’s short comings actually encouraged even small teams to press high on United, even at Old Trafford.

Andre Onana’s positioning, passing ability and ball control will make it virtually impossible for teams to hold a high line against us. But, some fans may be concerned about his shot stopping ability. Well, according to XG, Onana lead all goalkeepers in Europe in preventing goals and only Ederson was better aet save percentage and clean sheet ratio.

At 27 years old, which is young for a goalkeeper, Onana could be United’s next legendary goalkeeper and play for many years to come. ‘O O Onanaaaaaaaa!’

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