Man Utd may have sealed coup of the summer as Andre Onana belief speaks volumes

Andre Onana is struggling at Man Utd | Football Digest

Andre Onana is increasingly worried that he will lose his status as Manchester United No 1 if he represents Cameroon at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, according to reports. His concerns may indicate that deputy goalkeeper Altay Bayindir has turned heads behind the scenes despite an ongoing wait to make his United debut.

Onana has recently improved after a shaky start to life at Old Trafford contributed to poor early-season results, helping the Red Devils win five of their last six Premier League games.

He has kept five league clean sheets since joining from Inter Milan in a £47million deal in the summer transfer window, the joint-most in the Golden Glove race.

But Onana has cost United dearly in their troublesome Champions League Group A campaign, producing a string of high-profile errors.

The 27-year-old was at fault for both of Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick goals in Istanbul on Wednesday night as United squandered 2-0 and 3-1 leads to be held by Galatasaray.

The 3-3 draw left Ten Hag’s side rock bottom, needing to beat group winners Bayern Munich at Old Trafford in their final game for any chance of progressing into the last 16.

And Onana’s latest blunders have put his position under further scrutiny, with Altay Bayindir breathing down his neck.

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According to the Telegraph, Onana holds fears over his starting role if he misses up to six United matches during AFCON in the new year.

Bayindir is ready to step in during the Cameroon international’s absence and has reportedly left many impressed with his training performances.

But the report claims Onana is reluctant to accept the break while he faces a fight to prove Ten Hag was right to choose him as David de Gea’s replacement.

Bayindir has earned eight caps for Turkey and is said to be desperate for a chance to overthrow United’s No 24 between the sticks.

The 25-year-old only cost United £4.3m in the summer after Dean Henderson completed a switch to Crystal Palace worth up to £20m.

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It was a surprisingly low fee, considering Bayindir was Fenerbahce’s first-choice goalkeeper.

If he replaces Onana during AFCON, or even earlier, and cements his spot as United’s best stopper, such a little outlay would prove to be a significant coup.

Onana could yet reject the chance to play under Rigobert Song at AFCON after they settled their differences earlier this year, prompting him to exit his short-lived international retirement.

But even that may not save him from the pressure being applied by Bayindir if he continues to stifle Ten Hag’s progress with woeful mistakes.

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