Prior to the start of the summer transfer window, it was widely viewed that Manchester United’s top priority was to sign a striker.
However, as the run-in intensified, so, too, did the number of high-profile mistakes made by United’s number one, David De Gea.
Whether it was the Said Benrahma shot which he inexcusably parried into the net, or the scuffed effort from Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan which he couldn’t keep out, De Gea’s form suffered. So, United’s priorities shifted.
Andre Onana, who, almost ironically, was superb in the UEFA Champions League final against City, is reportedly the number one target to replace the Spaniard, who has officially left the club, although contract talks are ongoing.
Andre Onana would be a key signing
Andre Onana’s importance cannot be understated for Erik Ten Hag’s United. Alfredo Pedulla reports he could cost £52 million.
According to the statistical website FBREF, United had the seventh-highest average amount of possession throughout last season at 53%. Teams like Liverpool and Brighton, who ranked second and third for this metric, have goalkeepers who are more comfortable in possession.
De Gea, despite his heroics at times during his 12-year stint at Old Trafford, has seemingly struggled to adapt to the way that modern goalkeepers are now required to play. Onana fits the bill, but De Gea does not.
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The signing of a striker, namely Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund, will struggle in the current setup. If there isn’t a consistent recycling of possession, which starts from the goalkeeper, then United will struggle, which we saw in the bigger games last season, Arsenal away and City in the FA Cup spring to mind.
However, if Onana completes his impending move to Old Trafford, then United will have much greater control of possession than if they were to continue with the Spaniard and sign a number 9.
Erik Ten Hag’s priority for this summer has seemingly changed and now the next priority after completing the signing of Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55m is seemingly a goalkeeper, and his former goalkeeper at Ajax, seems to be his number one choice.