HomeFootball NewsWho Will Be Manchester United's New Goalkeeper?

Who Will Be Manchester United’s New Goalkeeper?

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Last week’s announcement that David de Gea had left Manchester United was the end of an era in several ways. Following the release of Phil Jones, it meant the last of United’s 2013 Premier League champions had left the club as well as the last of Sir Alex Ferguson’s players. But is it just the move that Erik Ten Hag needed to properly take his team into the future?

De Gea’s final season at Old Trafford ended with the Golden Gloves award for most clean sheets, but it was also a season of highs and lows, with costly errors in high profile games as well as some heavy defeats to United’s closest rivals. More worryingly for the Spaniard, he often looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet, which has always been a weaker part of his game.

This put him at odds with the style of football favoured by Ten Hag and led to some painfully awkward moments, not least in the humiliation United suffered at Brentford in the second game of the season. Rumours suggested that De Gea had never convinced his new manager, but with Dean Henderson out on loan at Nottingham Forest, he had no real competition for his place.

Ten Hag’s lack of faith in De Gea finally brought an end to his time at United with a protracted contract saga ending in confusion. It also meant that a player who had been the club’s Player of the Year four times (the first player to win it three times in a row) left with little fanfare and no chance to say goodbye on the pitch.

However, football can be an unsentimental game and Ten Hag is already looking forwards and planning to sign De Gea’s replacement. Henderson’s admission that he rushed through his loan deal last summer to avoid meeting the Dutchman means that he was never likely to get another chance to stake his claim, so Ten Hag is again looking at someone he knows he can trust to fit into his style and system.

Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana was a star performer for Internazionale in this debut season in Serie A, but Ten Hag knows him from his time at Ajax, where he played between 2016 and 2022. 

Onana’s playing style is in direct contrast to De Gea, as he’s known as a sweeper-keeper who is very comfortable on the ball, so much so that in a 2022 World Cup game against Switzerland he set a new record for the number of touches (26) outside the box for a goalkeeper in the tournament.

United have been in contact with Inter about the transfer and it seems like talks are progressing well, while Onana is believed to be keen on the move. They are also rumoured to be after Japan keeper Zion Suzuki, who could be available from Urawa Red Diamonds, and would give Onana real competition if they both ended up at Old Trafford.

Tom Heaton started United’s first pre-season friendly in Oslo, a 2-0 win over Leeds United, with Matej Kovar replacing him at half-time, but Ten Hag will be hoping to have at least one new keeper in his squad by the time they jet out to the USA.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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