Manchester United's Goalkeeping Woes: Is Onana the problem?

Manchester United's Andre Onana has been criticised for hos form this season. | Imago


Manchester United's Goalkeeping Woes: Is Onana the problem?

Manchester United's Goalkeeping Woes: Is Onana the problem?

Hassan Abdulsalam 11:10 - 27.12.2023

Andre Onana, the Cameroonian goalkeeper for Manchester United, has become a central figure in discussions about the team's performance in the 2023 Premier League season.

Following his high-profile transfer from Inter Milan for a substantial fee, Onana's tenure at the club has been marked by challenging games, leading to intense scrutiny from fans, pundits, and the media.

This article delves into the complexities surrounding Onana's situation at Manchester United, exploring various aspects of his performance, the team's defensive dynamics, and the broader implications for the club.

Andre Onana's Challenges at Manchester United

Andre Onana's move to Manchester United in 2023 came with high expectations due to his €55 million transfer fee from Inter Milan. Such a significant investment naturally led to heightened scrutiny of his performances.

Performance Issues: Onana's Struggles

Since joining Manchester United, Onana has faced criticism for several errors. He has conceded 23 goals in 17 Premier League games, which raises concerns about his consistency and reliability in plan. These performance issues are critical in understanding why Onana could be seen as a problem for the team.

Andre Onana was impressive in goal for Manchester United against Liverpool | Imago

Comparison with Past Struggles: The Case of David de Gea

Rio Ferdinand, a former Manchester United player, compared Onana's struggles to David de Gea's when he first joined the club. While this comparison suggests that Onana might overcome his difficulties, it also highlights the challenges young goalkeepers face when adapting to a high-pressure environment like Manchester United​​.

Defensive Weaknesses: A Collective Problem?

The issue might not be entirely Onana's fault. Manchester United's defense has been criticized for lacking solidity and consistency. The team has struggled to maintain a stable defensive partnership, which has often left Onana more exposed to threats from the opposition. This collective defensive weakness could be exacerbating Onana's challenges.

Andre Onana is rated the higest goalkeeper in the PL
Andre Onana Man United goalkeeper. (Photo Credit: Whoscored/X)

The Role of Management and Team Dynamics

The managerial strategies at Manchester United also come under scrutiny. The coaching staff's defensive tactics and player selection decisions might contribute to the team's and Onana's struggles. Effective management fosters a supportive environment for players, especially those new to the team like Onana.

Onana's Resilience and Potential for Improvement

Despite the criticism, Onana has shown glimpses of his potential and talent. His experience, including playing in major European finals, suggests he has the character to overcome current challenges. The ongoing season will be crucial for him to demonstrate resilience and adaptability.


While Andre Onana has faced significant challenges since joining Manchester United, attributing the team's defensive issues solely to him might oversimplify the situation. The problems are multifaceted, involving both individual performances and broader team dynamics. The remainder of the season will be pivotal for Onana and the team to address these issues and improve their overall performance​​.