Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana is reportedly leaning towards skipping the upcoming 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). The tournament starts on Jan. 13 and runs until Feb. 11. Onana has collected 35 caps for his home nation of Cameroon.
Sources at ESPN claim that the shot-stopper is having second thoughts regarding the tournament due to his shaky start at Old Trafford. Onana arrived at United this summer for around $55 million from Inter Milan. The highly rated goalkeeper was brought in as a direct replacement for legend David de Gea. However, things have not exactly gone as planned for Onana.
Onana avoids AFCON to fix United errors
The Cameroonian has so far shown glimpses of his abilities but also has had several mishaps as well. Onana made a significant error in United’s 4-3 loss to Bayern Munich back in September. He was then also to blame for a penalty and red card incident during a matchup with Galatasaray on Tuesday. The Turkish side ended up beating the Red Devils 3-2, in its win on English soil.
While Onana hasn’t exactly hit the ground running with United, manager Erik ten Hag has backed his goalkeeper. “We are happy with our goalkeeping group,” ten Hag told reporters after the Galatasaray debacle.
“Andre was in one semifinal of the Champions League [with Ajax], he was in the final last season [with Inter] so he has capabilities to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has shown that. We have already seen in games his great capabilities, also his personality. He will bounce back.”
Goalkeeper previously retired from national team due to issues with coach
The aforementioned news outlet also reports that Onana told United brass during contract negotiations that he was not returning to the Cameroon national team. The goalkeeper previously retired from international play following the 2022 World Cup. Nevertheless, Onana recently featured for his home nation in an AFCON qualifier against Burundi. He is in Cameroon’s squad for two friendlies later this month.
If Onana chooses to play for his national team during the AFCON, he could miss up to seven United matches. This would include a big-six clash with Tottenham Hotspur, as well as a few domestic cup matches.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Propaganda Photo.
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