Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Top Man Utd defender blamed for making ‘incredible’ Andre Onana ‘look terrible’

Andre Onana, Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire has been blamed for making Andre Onana's life tough at Man Utd

Andre Onana’s former Ajax teammate Ryan Babel has leapt to the defence of the Manchester United stopper and blamed a top Old Trafford defensive star for making him ‘look terrible’ this season.

Onana had endured a mixed debut campaign, much like his club as United have won less than half of their Premier League games and currently sit sixth in the table, 13 points off the Champions League places with only four games of the season to go.

The former Inter Milan star has pulled off some remarkable saves and often shown his quality in possession but he’s also been culpable of some horrific errors, none more so than in the last outings and against Sheffield United and Burnley.

And Babel insists his former teammate has ‘not been himself’ since arriving at Old Trafford, although he’s not been helped by a dysfunctional defence often led by Harry Maguire who often lands Onana in ‘trouble’.

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“Andre Onana is a great goalkeeper, I played with him at Ajax and he went on and continued to show what he’s capable of at Inter,” Babel told Ladbrokes.

“And then he signed for Man United and for some reason it hasn’t worked out. That’s concerning. It’s been so long that these supporters have had to suffer, they want immediate impact and results, especially from new signings.

“I know the spotlight is on Onana a lot in this United team, but the mistakes we’ve seen are as a result of a combination of things.

“Onana, at Ajax, had a back four in front of him who were all incredible with the ball at their feet.

“Respectfully, if Onana is then playing with Harry Maguire, then that immediately puts Onana in trouble, because he’s playing with defenders who aren’t opening themselves up, or making the right runs, so that Onana has options to play, and that puts him in trouble.”

Ajax stars made Onana shine

While United’s often-changing back four had made life tough for the club’s No.1, that was the complete opposite of what he had in Holland.

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Babel added: “At Ajax, Onana had the privilege of four great defenders, and Frenkie de Jong in front of them. Onana is a great goalkeeper, but they made him look even better.

“If a set of players don’t work well together, it makes some of those players in particular look terrible. In this case, that’s what Onana has experienced.

“Absolutely, though, some mistakes have been completely his fault; sometimes you question his positioning, or you just wonder what he’s doing.

“He’s not been himself in my opinion, but from what I know of him, and what I’ve seen, he’s an incredibly talented goalkeeper, and I hope that more people can see that next season for Manchester United.”

Onana is set to return to action for United on Monday evening when they head to in-form Crystal Palace in the Premier League.