Erik ten Hag revealed why a new Manchester United signing was overlooked when many expected him to play last week, and the explanation suggests there’ll be plenty of time spent warming the bench this year.
The Red Devils made seven first-team additions over the summer, with four arriving outright, two on loan and one via free agency.
Goalkeepers Andre Onana and Altay Bayindir, midfielder Mason Mount and former Atalanta ace, Rasmus Hojlund, joined for a combined total of £183m (add-ons included).
Sergio Reguilon and Sofyan Amrabat arrived on season-long loans, while Jonny Evans completed a remarkable return to Old Trafford when signing a one-year contract while unattached.
As you would expect, Onana has quickly established himself as No 1 between the sticks. However, the EFL Cup has often proven to be a competition where managers given their second string stoppers a chance to shine.
With Dean Henderson joining Crystal Palace in a £20m (including add-ons) deal, Bayindir is Onana’s chief deputy.
The former Fenerbahce man has racked up nearly 200 senior appearances in his career including earning six caps for Turkey.
The 25-year-old was the regular starter at Fenerbahce before joining Man Utd and many might’ve expected he’d get the nod in the cup clash with Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
However, just as he had done in the preceding league clashes, Bayindir remained rooted to the bench with Onana favoured against the Eagles.
Now, in quotes carried by the Manchester Evening News, United boss Ten Hag has shed light on why Bayindir was denied a chance to shine in what was a heavily rotated United line-up.
Bayindir still needs time to adapt – Ten Hag
Ten Hag suggested that like outfield players, goalkeepers too need time to adapt to the English game. While not stated, goalkeepers in England do generally have less time to react when in possession due to the pressing style many teams employ.
When asked if Bayindir could make his United debut against a familiar opponent in Galatasaray on Tuesday night, Ten Hag replied: “You will see [if he plays tomorrow],
“But we chose in the League Cup to play Andre because he [Bayindir] has to adapt to the England standard. That’s why we preferred Andre to play.
“But also we have to progress Altay, that’s clear. He’s made a very good impression in training and he’s really developing, so we’re really happy with it.
“We are convinced we have the two right goalkeepers in the squad to do the job for us.”
When will Bayindir chances come?
It would seem highly unlikely Bayindir will be entrusted with making his Man Utd debut in the Champions League, not least because United lost their opening contest in Group A against Bayern Munich.
Onana will retain the gloves in the league, and if the League Cup doesn’t offer an opening either, Bayindir may be set for a frustrating first season at the club.
The FA Cup post-Christmas when Bayindir has had more time to settle could offer respite. Furthermore, if United finish third in their UCL group, dropping into the Europa League might provide an opportunity.