In the last transfer window, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reportedly prevented the club from securing the signature of a particular Argentine World Cup winner.

This decision came as the Red Devils bid farewell to Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, who boasted the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League during the previous season.

It was rumored that the Red Devils had offered De Gea a new contract. Although the Spaniard won the 2022-23 Premier League Golden Glove, a few blunders plagued his last season, and a new contract with a considerable wage drop could not be agreed upon.

Davide De Gea is still without a club after leaving Manchester United
Davide De Gea is still without a club after leaving Manchester United

Davide De Gea is still without a club after leaving Manchester United

As a result, the team elected to release the goalkeeper before the end of the season, allowing the veteran shot-stopper to be available to sign with any club.

After allowing Dean Henderson to sign a permanent contract with Crystal Palace, the club’s longest-serving goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, was marked for a backup role.

As a result, the Red Devils’ scouting department tried to add two new goalkeepers in preparation for the current season.

Jordan Pickford of Everton and Villa’s Martinez were among the several players rumored to be moving to Old Trafford. They decided to go with Andre Onana and Altay Bayindir of Fenerbahce.

Ten Hag ordered United to pull plug on Emiliano Martinez deal

The club allegedly spent $53 million to acquire Andre Onana, a Cameroonian international who had been playing for Inter. Nevertheless, he has received widespread criticism since his arrival.

In 11 appearances for United, the 27-year-old has only managed to keep three clean sheets. Interestingly, it has come to light that if not for Ten Hag‘s interference, United may have had an arguably superior goalkeeper in their ranks.

According to The Independent, Manchester United sought to acquire Emiliano Martinez, the goalkeeper for Aston Villa. Martinez was a key member of Argentina’s World Cup-winning squad in Qatar in 2022.

The Dutch manager allegedly prevented the club from contacting the World Cup winner because he favored a trade for Onana, according to the article. Because of his prior experience with Onana, he was already certain of his competence.

Onana’s move to Old Trafford was facilitated in large part by the fact that he and Ten Hag had worked together at Ajax Amsterdam. He was able to sign his preferred player instead of Martinez after the board made his preferences known.

Who has better stats this season?

Even so, the 27-year-old Cameroonian has had some bright spots at Old Trafford. A week and a half before their 4-3 defeat to Copenhagen in Group A, he saved a penalty from Jordan Larsson to help his team beat the Danes, 1-0.

In Saturday’s 1-0 victory against Luton Town, Onana recorded his sixth clean sheet of the season (in all competitions). It was also his second consecutive league clean sheet following the previous matchday’s exact victory over Fulham.

In contrast, Martinez had four shutouts in the first 15 games of the season. He has only earned two clean sheets in the Premier League and conceded in each of his previous five top-flight appearances.

Despite this, the Argentine was honored with the Yashin Trophy at this year’s Ballon d’Or awards, recognizing his outstanding performances in the World Cup. In the same rankings, Onana secured the sixth position following his contributions to Inter’s journey to the final of the Champions League.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Laci Perenyi IMAGO / NurPhoto