Manchester United could be without Andre Onana for multiple matches in early 2024. The star goalkeeper recently helped Cameroon qualify for the 2023 African Cup of Nations tournament. With Onana between the posts, Cameroon beat Burundi 3-0 on Tuesday night. As a result, the Indomitable Lions booked their place in the upcoming competition.
The 2023 AFCON plays out during the current Premier League season. Opening matches of the tournament start on Jan. 13, with the final scheduled for Feb. 11. Although it remains to be seen how far Cameroon will go in the competition, Onana will certainly miss time with United.
Goalkeeper may miss several massive United matches
If his home country advances to the title match, Onana will miss four Premier League fixtures. This includes a key top-six matchup with Tottenham Hotspur, as well as games against Wolves, West Ham, and Aston Villa.
The shot-stopper may miss three cup matches as well. This includes a two-legged Carabao Cup semifinal and a possible fourth-round fixture in the FA Cup. This is, of course, if United makes it that far in the competition.
Champions League knockout round games begin in mid-February. Although the African Cup of Nations will be over by this point in the calendar, it could prove to be a quick turnaround for the goalkeeper.
New signing to step in for Onana at club
United signed the highly rated Onana earlier in the summer for around $55 million. The former Inter Milan keeper was a direct replacement for David de Gea. However, the Red Devils also brought in Altay Bayindir to back up Onana as well. Bayindir has not yet featured for the club but would most likely play in Onana’s place.
The African Cup of Nations happens in both the summer and winter, depending on the year. The upcoming competition moved to January 2024 because of poor weather conditions during the summer in the Ivory Coast. The country will host the tournament for the first time since 1984.
Along with Onana, dozens of African players will also miss time with their current clubs. This includes Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Chelsea’s Nicolas Jackson, and Arsenal’s Thomas Partey.
PHOTO: IMAGO & PA Images
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