- Ferdinand says Onana has had struggle start to life at Old Trafford
- Onana’s mistake against Brentford was one too many for the 27YO
- Onana will join the national team the next ten days and hope to be back stronger
Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand says he expects under fire goalkeeper Andre Onana to work hard and regain his best form despite the struggle start to life at the club.
Ferdinand who didn’t have it all his way at Old Trafford was speaking after Onana’s latest performance in Manchester United’s 2-1 comeback win against Brentford in a game some have blamed Onana for not keeping out Jensen’s opener for Brentford.
Onana joined United in a much-talked-about €43 switch from Inter Milan, expecting to be a fitting replacement for long-serving David De Gea, but unfortunately it hasn’t been the best start to life at Old Trafford.
The former Inter Milan’s blunders have caused four of the 15 goals he has conceded in 8 games and the latest against Brentford only highlighted his struggles.
Rio has been in a similar confidence crisis situation in the past and found the right words for the Cameroon international.
“He should have made the save against Brentford. In training, he probably makes that save every day. I saw a quote from Peter Schmeichel, who spoke to him and told him not to let [the pressure of] Man Utd get to you.”
Had United failed to recover in injury time, the criticism of Onana would have amplified. Lucky enough for him Scott McTonomy did his additional time magic.
“At the moment, there are nerves that are in there, because of the mistakes. A lot of people are asking if he can recover. I was there when De Gea came. He was obviously younger but he didn’t start well, you know. I think in his first 10 games or so, the numbers are similar to Onana,” Rio explained.
The good thing for Onana is time is on his side – just as it was for his predecessor Degea in 2012. Signed as the long-term successor to Van der Sar, De Gea, then a scrawny, 21-year-old shot-stopper, was experiencing similar difficulties.
“If you were to speak to Onana himself, I think he would say, ‘This is not the start I wanted, this is no way near the level I am used to performing at and this is not the standard required at Man United so I need to buck up my ideas’.”
Onana is away on international duty with Cameroon in the next ten days as former Liverpool defender Rigobert Song invited him for the international friendlies against Russia on October 12 and Senegal four days later.
The international break is a welcome development for the keeper, especially because of his brilliant performance during the 3-0 win against Burundi in September. This period will help rebuild his confidence.
After the international break, Onana will be back at United to prepare for their Premier League commitment away to misfiring Sheffield United on October 21.
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