Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

What Edwin van der Sar told struggling Andre Onana

Andre Onana has opened up about the guidance he got from Manchester United icon Edwin van der Sar amid his initial challenges at Old Trafford.

At 28, Onana had a rocky beginning to his time in the Premier League after transferring from Ajax for £47.2m the previous summer.

The Cameroonian star committed to a five-year contract with Old Trafford, but there were doubts about his ability to become a staple in the United lineup, especially after the departure of former goalkeeper David de Gea.

Despite the shaky start, Onana’s performance has seen a significant uptick recently, and he expresses his appreciation for Van der Sar’s support during his tougher times with Manchester United.

Van der Sar, who clinched four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his tenure at Old Trafford, later transitioned to an executive role as the CEO of Ajax, where Onana had previously played.

‘I had the privilege to have him [Van der Sar] at Ajax and he advised me a lot,’ Onana told Inside United. ‘We had a great time there. We achieved a lot of things together.

‘Obviously, I had the honour to train a few times with him when he was coming to the training sessions. It was nice.

‘He had a great career here and he’s done a lot of thing for Manchester United and for me. I’m still in contact with him and very happy to talk to him sometimes, when we can. Talking about him is something great because he did a lot for me.’

When asked to elaborate on the advice he received from Van der Sar, United’s first choice goalkeeper added: ‘I spoke to him when I signed here and even, I think, a few months ago.

‘He told me: “Andre, what can I tell you already? You are already used to the pressure. Just give yourself time and show the world who you are. I already know who you are.”’

Onana delivered a top-notch performance, limiting Brentford to a single goal during the weekend match, as Manchester United resumed play with a disappointing 1-1 draw in West London.

Erik ten Hag’s team, which is presently ranked sixth in the Premier League, is set to go up against a faltering Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this coming Thursday.

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