Andre Onana Faces Early Challenges as Manchester United’s New Goalkeeper
Andre Onana, who arrived at Old Trafford from Inter Milan during the summer, has encountered a challenging start to his Manchester United career.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper has conceded 10 goals in his first five Premier League appearances, securing just one clean sheet on the opening weekend against Wolves.
In contrast, David de Gea, who departed Manchester United earlier this summer, remains without a club and is reportedly contemplating retirement if he doesn’t secure a new team soon.
De Gea faced growing impatience and frustration from Manchester United’s fanbase due to his performances last season, as a series of goalkeeping errors contributed to his eventual departure.
Currently, only two Premier League clubs have conceded more goals than Manchester United this season. On average, Andre Onana has conceded two goals per game, a stark contrast to De Gea’s 2022/23 Golden Glove-winning season, during which he conceded an average of 1.13 goals per game while securing 17 clean sheets.
It’s essential to consider the context, as the entire Manchester United team has struggled defensively and lacked cohesion this season compared to De Gea’s final season, which was marked by better organization and solidity.
Onana has committed some noticeable goalkeeping errors, including prematurely going down before Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal against Nottingham Forest, letting Declan Rice’s stoppage-time winner slip through his grasp, and most recently, allowing Leroy Sane’s tame shot to slip beneath him in a Champions League match.
Data collected from the 2022/23 season and the beginning of the 2023/24 season allows us to analyze the performance of each goalkeeper across various metrics. While Onana’s sample size is smaller, the metrics have been normalized on a per-90 basis to facilitate a fair comparison.
Surprisingly, De Gea has displayed better ball distribution skills with a passing accuracy of 68.33%, although Onana has a slightly higher accuracy at 74.14%.
De Gea also boasts a superior save percentage of 70% compared to Onana’s 66.67%. However, it’s worth noting that Onana has faced an average of six shots on target per 90, while De Gea confronted only 3.8 shots on target per match, thanks to a more robust defense.
As the season progresses, we will have more reliable statistics for comparison. Nonetheless, Manchester United’s new first-choice goalkeeper still has some way to go to match the shot-stopping abilities of prime De Gea.