Chris Sutton, in a recent discussion on the It’s All Kicking Off podcast by Mail Sport, strongly believes that Manchester United made a critical error by signing goalkeeper Andre Onana and suggests they should have retained David de Gea.
The £43 million summer acquisition, Onana, has come under fire for a series of high-profile errors that have put immense pressure on the entire United team. His most recent mishap was allowing Mathias Jensen’s strike to breach the goal line, enabling Brentford to take the lead at Old Trafford.
United managed a comeback win, courtesy of two late Scott McTominay goals, granting beleaguered manager Erik ten Hag some much-needed respite. However, Sutton is concerned that Ten Hag can’t afford to drop Onana, primarily because the backup keeper, summer signing Altay Bayindir, remains a relative unknown.
Sutton admitted on Monday’s show, “In truth, I had to look his name up.”
He further argued, “We’ve had this great debate about Arsenal having two excellent goalkeepers. I think Onana is okay with his feet, but you eventually have to use your hands, and I don’t think he’s good enough.”
Sutton believes Onana’s presence increases pressure on the entire team and states that he is not up to the standards of Manchester United. He claims that the club made a major mistake by signing him.
In response, Ian Ladyman, Mail Sport’s football editor, referenced comments made by Peter Schmeichel about Onana feeling the pressure at Old Trafford.
Schmeichel said, “I think a lot of that [Onana’s mistakes] is pressure. I spoke to him after Bayern. I spoke to him after Galatasaray as well, and he was very down about the mistakes he made.”
Schmeichel advised Onana on how to cope with the pressures of playing for Manchester United and urged him to put mistakes aside and focus on the next moment. However, Schmeichel expressed concern that the whole team’s trust in Onana might have been eroded due to his recent errors.