Andre Onana's former team-mate explains what is holding Man Utd goalkeeper back 63 days ago

Andre Onana has had ups and downs during his early Manchester United career while his former Ajax teammate Daley Blind has spoken of what he must do to reach the top

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Andre Onana of Manchester United reacts during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on September 26, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
Andre Onana is adjusting to life as Man Utd's new No.1

Daley Blind has claimed Andre Onana is “one of the great goalkeepers in the world” but did suggest that he needed to maintain his focus.

The Cameroon goalkeeper joined Manchester United from Inter this summer and is the club’s undisputed No.1, replacing the long-serving David de Gea at Old Trafford. Onana’s start at United has been somewhat tumultuous but is showing signs of settling down.

Onana’s howler for Bayern Munich’s opening goal set the tone in their 4-3 Champions League victory over United earlier this month, having shipped ten goals across four Premier League outings. The situation has settled down since, with back-to-back clean sheets against Burnley and Crystal Palace.

There are no doubts that Onana can transform United’s style of play under Erik ten Hag, due to both his excellent distribution from the back and willingness to come out of his box to allow the team to move up the pitch, but he is yet to find his best form for his new side.

Blind played 141 games for Manchester United between 2014 and 2018 in-between spells at Ajax, where he played alongside Onana in his second spell. The defender, who now plays for Girona, explained that Onana was at the top level, but only ‘when he has his head right’.

Speaking in an interview with The Athletic, Blind explained of the goalkeeper: “He’s one of the great goalkeepers in the world. He has a nonchalance, he’s complete and when he has his head right he can be one of the best goalkeepers. He’s a winner. Always wants to train more. I had a good relationship with him.”

Blind, who won the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Europa League trophy across his four years at Old Trafford, also spoke of his other former Ajax teammates who are now at United. He added: “There are other players who I played with at Ajax who are now at United — Antony was a big signing when he arrived and he showed his talent straight away.

Have Your Say! Was Onana an upgrade on De Gea for Man United

Onana has recorded back-to-back clean sheets for Man United
Onana has recorded back-to-back clean sheets for Man United

“Neres (a fellow Brazilian midfielder) was there to help him a lot and he developed quite well. Donny van de Beek is a very good guy and a very good player, but big injuries have been an issue for him. They can be hard to come back from.”

He added of Van de Beek: “Donny’s a real No 10 and there are not a lot of teams who play with a No 10 in top football. I think he can adapt to new positions if he gets time. He has the quality to be a top player at United, but United doesn’t wait for anyone.”

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