Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has played with fire by sending Andre Onana a public warning ahead of the Premier League’s return this weekend.
Ten Hag took a similar approach with Jadon Sancho close to two months ago, sparking their ongoing row, but he is desperate for the goalkeeper to deliver sooner rather than later.
The Dutch manager decided to replace David de Gea as his first-choice shot-stopper in the summer window, ending the Spaniard’s 11 years at Old Trafford.
Onana arrived from Inter on the back of a sensational season, promising a new style due to his ball-playing ability & confident commanding of his area.
But the 27-year-old has endured a tough start to life at United, conceding 19 goals in his first 11 games and producing a number of costly errors, drawing a spotlight on Ten Hag’s bold call.
Ten Hag has addressed Onana’s poor form ahead of the trip to Sheffield United, conceding he has to improve in the way the club’s former goalkeepers did after shaky starts.
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“He knows, we know, he will do much better and as every player who’s coming into the Premier League, you need an integration period, but he has to step up,” Ten Hag explained.
“Big United keepers like Peter Schmeichel and David de Gea started not doomed, and Andre knows that it is good to know a little bit from history.
“We live now, we live in the future, and he has to make his future by giving better performances. I’m sure he will do.
“He showed it at Barcelona, Ajax, Inter Milan. He was in the semi-final and final of the Champions League. I’m sure he will give a great performance.”
Ten Hag will hope the Cameroon international react better to his public rallying cry than Sancho.
The 23-year-old is set to leave Old Trafford in the January window after refusing to apologise for calling Ten Hag a liar over his omission from Arsenal defeat in September.