‘His ability is incredible’ - Man Utd legend makes U-turn with defence of £47m signing

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Andre Onana has struggled to justify his £47million price tag at Manchester United so far

Peter Schmeichel has revoked his Andre Onana criticism by blaming “confusion” at Manchester United for the goalkeeper’s poor form. Fans expected a major improvement between the sticks when the Red Devils stumped up £47million for the Cameroon international. Onana helped Inter Milan reach the Champions League final last season and previously played under Erik ten Hag at Ajax.

David de Gea won the Premier League Golden Glove award in 2022-23 but supporters - and Ten Hag - craved a keeper with better distribution. However, Onana has failed to produce the goods at United so far.

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A string of errors throughout the campaign has heaped pressure on the 27-year-old, now on international duty at the African Cup of Nations. Iconic former shot-stopper Schmeichel ripped into Onana after a mistake against Brentford in October.

“The goalkeeper is not covering himself in glory in that one,” he said about Mathias Jensen’s opener. “I think a lot of that is pressure. I spoke to him after Bayern (Munich) and I spoke to him after the other Champions League match against Galatasaray as well.

“He’s very down on the mistakes he’s made. And now he’s upset the whole team. Now they will even more not trust him, and my god, it’s not good.”

But Schmeichel has now backed the goalie to succeed once Ten Hag fields a consistent backline. The Dane admitted several factors are to blame for Onana’s uninspiring start at Old Trafford. 

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“I think it would be difficult for anyone coming in goal for Manchester United," Schmeichel told Up Front With Simon Jordan. “Why do you bring Andre Onana in? Well, his ability with his feet is incredible. We saw that with Inter Milan last season but that was well drilled into that team. 

“That was a clear system of how they played and a clear way of how he was contributing to that team. He’s come in to a lot of confusion. How is the team playing? Are they supposed to play it out from the back every time? 

“Are the players good enough to play it out? Is the system well-drilled enough to play the ball out from the back every time? I don’t think it is. I think a lot of things have hampered that development. Of course there have been injuries to a lot of the defenders so it’s been difficult. The pairings in front of him… I think he’s got about 12 or 14.”

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