Onana ‘fears’ for Man Utd place as he considers ‘pulling out’ of AFCON to block Bayindir

Joe Williams
Man Utd goalkeeper Andre Onana
Andre Onana had a poor match against Galatasaray,

Andre Onana is fearful that he will lose his place in the Manchester United team long term if he leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations early next year, according to reports.

The Cameroon international has been largely solid in the Premier League this season but his Champions League performances have seen pressure build on the goalkeeper.

There were a number of pieces in the media earlier this week praised his recent displays but his terrible showing against Galatasaray in the Red Devils’ 3-3 draw on Wednesday has seen his critics shout louder than ever.

The Man Utd goalkeeper misjudged two free-kicks from Hakim Ziyech against the Turkish outfit, while Paul Scholes also thought Onana was at fault for Galatasaray’s third goal too.

There have even been calls from some for Man Utd to look into buying a new goalkeeper in January, despite only signing Onana from Inter Milan in the summer.

And that has now led to a report in The Sun which claims Onana ‘could pull out of the African Cup of Nations to protect his Manchester United number one spot’.

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Onana recently returned to the international fold after resolving his differences with Cameroon coach Rigobert Song – but the Man Utd goalkeeper ‘fears he might lose his place long term’ at Old Trafford if he leaves for Africa.

Altay Bayindir, who also arrived in the summer transfer window, is ready to grasp his opportunity with Onana currently set to miss as many as six matches if Cameroon do well at the AFCON.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag said after their draw against Galatasaray that Turkey international Bayindir “will get his chance” soon.

When asked by a Turkish reporter if Bayindir could in line for a start, Ten Hag replied: “We are pleased with the goalkeeping group. They have to push each other. We are very pleased with Altay who is doing very well, he just has to be patient.

“If he works well and continues his progress, he will get his chance and will have to take it.”

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher had some sympathy for Onana after his horror show in Istanbul and shared his experience of making a mistake in a defeat to West Ham.

Carragher wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: “Many of us have been there after a poor game, knowing your contribution has been decisive to the outcome of a match.

“The game was meandering to a goalless draw. We had a corner in the last minute, West Ham broke away on counter-attack and in chasing Freddie Ljungberg I clipped him and gave away a penalty.

“Mark Noble scored, West Ham won 1-0 and the trip home was horrendous, sitting there believing the defeat was solely down to me. After ten years in the Liverpool first team, there was some consolation from having credit in the bank.

“No-one was suggesting it should be the end of my Anfield career. Nevertheless, it was a horrible feeling and not a word could be said to improve my mood. Onana must have felt similarly lonely at full-time and on the plane back to Manchester on Wednesday night. It is not a good place to be but Ten Hag must be concerned moving forward.”