Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag rattled by shock Onana decision, as Man Utd boss calls for one major change

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag and goalkeeper Andre Onana

Erik ten Hag’s dismay at a decision made by Andre Onana has come to light, while a report claims the Manchester United boss has asked his goalkeeper to make a temporary change to his game.

When it became apparent David de Gea’s limitations in possession were a deal-breaker for Ten Hag, a new stopper was always likely to be signed in the off-season.

Andre Onana was that man, with Man Utd committing to a package worth £47.2m for the former Ajax and Inter Milan star.

The 27-year-old has endured a shaky start to life at Old Trafford, with a series of high profile handling errors costing United dearly.

However, there is no indication Ten Hag has lost faith in his keeper and a much-improved display against Sheffield United last time out suggests Onana may finally be settling.

But according to a fresh update from GiveMeSport, Ten Hag isn’t all that thrilled with a decision Onana made.

A disagreement over tactics saw Onana fall out with Cameroon boss Rigobert Song during the Qatar World Cup. Onana announced his international retirement in December 2022, though returned to playing for Cameroon in an AFCON qualifier against Burundi last month.

Reports have claimed that was a one-off, though ESPN later stated Cameroon could call Onana up for the Africa Cup of Nations.

That tournament is due to last for around a month between mid-January to early-February. ESPN stated Onana might decline the call-up, though the report acknowledged there’ll be pressure on Onana to accept from the Cameroon FA and government.

Onana was signed by United at a time when he was retired from international football. Per GMS, his decision to begin playing for Cameroon again did not go down well with Ten Hag.

The Dutchman was reportedly ‘less than overjoyed’ when learning of the development. It’s also claimed Ten Hag believed ‘Onana’s sole focus should be building his career at Old Trafford with United goalkeepers facing a unique and brutal spotlight.’

Given the player’s nervy start at Old Trafford, it would appear Ten Hag’s fears were well placed.

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Triple absence sees Ten Hag ask Onana to change

In any case, GMS provide another interesting update on Ten Hag and Onana in the form of a tactical tweak now being deployed.

Among the more pressing reasons Onana was signed was his superior ability with the ball at feet.

However, with so many of United’s frontline options in defence out with injury, Ten Hag has reportedly asked Onana to take fewer risks in possession for the time being.

Of United’s strongest quartet at the back, two are currently absent through injury – Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw. Raphael Varane was only fit enough to feature from the bench against the Blades on Saturday night.

As such, GMS conclude ‘Onana has been told to take less risks with playing out from the back’.

The keeper will once again be given license to showcase his passing range when some or all of the trio return.

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