After agreeing a deal with Chelsea for the transfer of Mason Mount yesterday, Manchester United have seemingly turned their attention to securing a new goalkeeper and Inter Milan's Andre Onana seems to be the club's top target. While they were also linked with Porto's Diogo Costa earlier in the summer, the club have reportedly been in talks with Onana's agent this week as they weigh up a bid for the 27-year-old.
Under normal circumstances, a club whose goalkeeper kept the most clean sheets in the league last season wouldn't be in the market for a new number-one goalkeeper, however, these aren't normal times at Old Trafford as Ten Hag looks to get ruthless in his rebuild. With an official bid expected in the coming days, here is why Onana is the man for Manchester United.
Why United should sign Onana
He is a modern goalkeeper
The number one reason why Onana should be considered a priority signing for Manchester is because he is the epitome of a modern goalkeeper. Their current number-one, David de Gea, is a goalkeeper from yesteryear in the sense that he comes up short when it comes to distribution, collecting crosses and sweeping behind the defensive line.
For years, de Gea's shot-stopping ability has covered up for the aforementioned deficiencies in his game however even that side of his game has dipped in recent years. As a result, the time has come for United to bring in a new goalkeeper and one who will enable the club to dominate possession more and press higher up the pitch.
When it comes to distribution, there aren't many better keepers in the world than Onana – he is capable of passing off both feet and isn't afraid to play line-breaking passes into midfield. He can go short or long and nearly always picks the right option. He is also excellent at coming off his line to collect crosses, a skill that de Gea has never mastered.
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He has pedigree at the top level
While there are countless goalkeepers across Europe who are able to distribute the ball well and dominate their area, doing it for a club like Manchester United is another thing altogether.
Many elite footballers have shrunk at Old Trafford over the years and Gary Neville has said many times in the past that the goalkeeper position at United is the most difficult position in world football due to the pressure and scrutiny that comes with it.
For Onana, though, he has already played at two of the biggest clubs in world football so the pressure won't exactly be brand new to him. The Cameroonian played for Dutch giants, Ajax, for seven years before moving to Inter Milan last summer. In his first season in Italy, he ended up playing in the biggest game in club football – the Champions League final- and performed exceptionally well.
Ten Hag has worked with him before
The final big reason for Manchester United to get a deal sorted for Onana is because Erik Ten Hag has experience of working with him so knows exactly what he is going to get from him. The Dutchman had a positive opening season at Old Trafford and has earned some trust in the transfer market after his recommendations from Ajax proved to be successful last term.
Onana was Ten Hag's first-choice goalkeeper throughout his time at the club and the pair enjoyed great success together. If United back their manager with this signing then the 27-year-old could have the same transformative effect on the club that the likes of Ederson and Aaron Ramsdale had on Manchester City and Arsenal when they replaced “old fashioned” goalkeepers at their respective clubs.