Manchester United signed Andre Onana this summer, but it appears that the Red Devils are on the lookout for a new goalkeeper.
Spain’s ‘Pizjas’ reported on June 26 (KST) that “United are interested in Oblak, who is under contract with Atletico Madrid until the summer of 2028. One of the best goalkeepers in the world, he has a market value of 35 million euros (about 49.8 billion won) according to soccer statistics outlet Transfermarkt.”
“United made a big splash this summer to sign Onana. Oblak is happy with his current position at Atletico, but United will be monitoring him closely.”
The Red Devils have changed their goalkeeping this summer. Until last season, it was David de Gea who was in goal for United. De Gea joined United from Atletico in 2011. He joined the team at the tender age of 20 and quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup, where he continued to excel over the years.
By the 2019-20 season, De Gea was still going strong. He was the undisputed ‘number one’, appearing in all 38 Premier League (PL) games that season. But then he started to falter, making a few big and small mistakes that led to calls for a new goalkeeper, or at least a competitor to De Gea.
Of course, with players like Dean Henderson breaking into the first team, De Gea’s position could change, but his predecessors, including Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, all put a lot of faith in him. Last season was no different. The new manager, Eric ten Hagg, also kept De Gea in the starting lineup. Once again, he started every game in the PL. He kept clean sheets in 17 of them, and pulled off super saves at crucial moments to keep United out of trouble.토토사이트
Despite this, there have been some disappointments. United lost 0-1 in the 35th round of the league against West Ham United last season. In the go-ahead goal, a mid-range shot from Saido Benramar came on a trajectory that De Gea could have easily stopped. The ball grazed his hand and rattled the post. At the start of the second half, De Gea almost conceded again when he misplaced a pass. It was one of those occasional mistakes or sloppy plays.
De Gea’s contract was set to expire this summer. Initially, the odds were stacked against him staying. As the highest paid player at his current club, there were rumors that he would sign a new contract with a significant pay cut. But in the end, De Gea ended his stay with United and moved on to new challenges.
This summer, however, there was no news of De Gea finding a new home. Earlier, the British ‘Tribal Football’ reported on the 19th that “De Gea could be looking for a new team. He is still without a club after leaving United this summer. De Gea, who rejected an offer from a Saudi Arabian club, is on Betis’ list of targets. Valencia are also interested, but Betis are ahead of the competition.”
However, it seems that De Gea is hoping for one last spark at a big club. According to Sky Sports, “De Gea could decide to retire if he can’t secure a starting goalkeeping position at a big club. He has rejected several offers, including from Saudi Arabia. Money is not the reason.”
The outlet continued, “De Gea is staying fit in the hope that the right team will come along. He also wants a team led by a manager who can recognize his best years. De Gea will turn 33 in November. Now he wants to play for a team that can compete for major honors.”
Meanwhile, United have signed Onana as De Gea’s replacement. Onana joined Ajax in 2015. Since then, he has been the first-choice goalkeeper and helped the team reach the UEFA Champions League (UCL) semifinals in 2018-19. It was during this time that he was coached by Van Gaal. He then went on to play for Inter Milan, but was reunited with Ten Haag when he was called up.
So far, so good. United won 1-0 against Wolverhampton in their league opener this season. Onana had a successful debut, keeping a clean sheet. However, in the four league games that followed, he conceded 10 goals. He conceded two goals against Tottenham (0-2) and Nottingham Forest (3-2), and lost 1-3 to Arsenal and Brighton.
It’s not like Onana was responsible for all of those goals, but it’s certainly disappointing. He also conceded four goals in the first leg of the UCL group stage against Bayern Munich. In that game, Onana did not show a steady hand, failing to get a good grip on the ball in the process of conceding the first goal.
After the game, he said, “This is the life of a goalkeeper. We played well in the beginning of the game, but I lost control due to my mistakes. It was a tough moment. I think I demoralized my teammates. We didn’t win because of me. This is one of the worst matches of my life,” he said.
Coach Ten Haag first consoled Onana, saying, “He took responsibility for his performance. You can see his character. That’s what he needs to take him to a higher level. If he makes a mistake, he doesn’t have to make it bigger. Onana made a great save in the second half. That’s what he’s capable of.”
Onana recently recorded his second clean sheet of the season against Burnley. United won that game 1-0. However, the early season concessions have led to speculation about a new goalkeeper. Since joining Atletico from Benfica in 2014, Oblak has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Oblak has been consistently linked with United as a replacement for De Gea in the past. But each time, Atletico have made it clear that they have no intention of selling him. He still has five years left on his contract, so it’s unlikely that he’ll leave the club unless he’s forced to.