Erik ten Hag finally admits the real reason he replaced David de Gea with Andre Onana

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has spoken about how the qualities that Andre Onana possesses will enable his side to play in a completely different way this season.

Erik ten Hag has backed Andre Onana to transform the way Manchester United play after making the former Inter Milan star his new No.1 goalkeeper.

Onana, 27, played under Ten Hag at Ajax and caught the eye with Inter last term as the Italian giants progressed to the Champions League final. The Cameroon international only signed for Inter last summer but completed a £47million switch to Old Trafford earlier this month.

Ten Hag moved for Onana after dispensing with the services of David de Gea, who had been United’s first-choice goalkeeper for over a decade. The Spaniard struggled to convince when playing out from the back last season and left the club after a new contract failed to materialise.

And although Ten Hag has previously been reluctant to pinpoint De Gea’s technical weakness as the reason for his departure, the Dutchman has alluded to it in comments where he backed Onana to change how United play due to his “different profile”.

When he was asked about the qualities Onana will bring, Ten Hag told the media: “He’s a great goalkeeper and has a different profile. That’s why we wanted to sign him. With him, something will change in our game.”

Onana, who made his bow for United on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, is expected to start the Premier League campaign in between the sticks for Ten Hag’s side.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster, who now plies his trade at Wrexham, admitted earlier this week that replacing De Gea with Onana was “probably” the right move – even though he would have stuck with the veteran for one more year.

“He’s obviously a very, very modern goalkeeper and that’s what it is nowadays,” Foster told The United Stand. “If Manchester United wanted to improve and progress, they had to sign Onana. That’s the way that it goes and it’s as simple as that. Whether or not the players around him are ready for that and be able to deal with constantly playing out from the back and him stepping up, acting like a real sweeper-keeper.

“I’ve seen the way he plays and he’s super high up, comfortably comes running out with the ball. That remains to be seen [if his teammates are ready for that]. It’ll be an interesting one but I do think it’s the right move, probably.”

He continued: “[Playing as United No.1] it’s a really hard job. If you can guarantee a 6/10 or 7/10 [performance] every week like David did, that is worth its weight in gold. Onana is a very confident player, I’ve seen him doing Cruyff turns and this kind of stuff.

“But it will only take one or two for him to get caught out. Then it makes you start thinking maybe you shouldn’t do that. Hopefully, he hits the ground running but it’s not as easy as that sometimes.”

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