Connect with us


Manchester United star is proving Louis Saha’s ‘mentally strong’ tag correct



| Last Updated:


Credit: Imago

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has been singing the praises of new signing Andre Onana and his mentality in recent weeks.

The new goalkeeper has been one of few bright sparks in United’s difficult start to the Premier League season, despite being close to conceding a last-minute penalty against Wolves.

Whilst his ball-playing ability has been impressive, Onana has also displayed some important saves during the opening fixtures.

Following the goalkeeper’s close call at Old Trafford, where he clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic after misreading the flight of an incoming cross, he took on full responsibility in his post-match press conference.

Goalkeepers’ mistakes are always around the posts, so you make decisions and sometimes you’re right, sometimes not. I made a decision and I’m responsible for everything,” he stated.

“For me it was just contact between two big guys and I was calm, I knew nothing would happen, but the most important thing was to win and I’m really happy for the victory.”

Onana would also come out to speak to the media following defeat against Tottenham Hotspur. Although he was one of the best players in red, United’s no.24 again spoke on what he could’ve done better to prevent the goals.

“For myself, I think some of the communication with my defenders – Licha (Martinez] scored the own goal, we all know how good he is – every goal, I look at myself, my defenders, whether we can do something more.”

It’s quite clear that Onana has the correct mentality to succeed at Old Trafford and that is something that former United strike Louis Saha believes is important for Ten Hag’s squad.

“You need players that are going to lead by example, that are capable of taking criticism, and can be aware that there are areas of their game that they can improve on,” Saha told BetFred. “Onana showing that he can take responsibility for mistakes is a very good trait for any player to have and he’s already showing how strong he is mentally.

“Using Lisandro Martínez as an example, after his first few games for Manchester United many pundits and fans were immediately on his back, saying he was too small to be a centre-back and then by proving himself through his performances during the season, nobody was speaking about that anymore.

“A lot of people believed that Casemiro wasn’t worth the money that Manchester United paid for him, but that was wrong too. Once Onana shows everybody what he can do, nobody will be able to criticise him and I’m sure with his natural confidence, he’s going to gain the respect of everybody.”

Saha, 45, played 124 games for United across a four-year stint and was at the club when Edwin van der Sar joined in 2005. The Dutchman joined from Fulham and would go onto become one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the club.

The French striker detailed how the dynamic of Sir Alex Ferguson’s team changed when the Dutch goalkeeper joined because he was comfortable with the ball at his feet, something that Onana brings in abundance.

“I played with Edwin van der Sar and I believe he was the first goalkeeper that was truly confident in playing with the ball at his feet. Edwin used to play in midfield during our training sessions and over time he changed the whole dynamic of our team,” he added. “We were more in control of every game because of his ability to control the ball and he made Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić impossible to press against. I’m excited to see the same with Onana as he’s another version of Van der Sar.”