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Manchester United told replacing David de Gea with André Onana is “weird”



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Credit: IMAGO / Paul Marriott

Rio Ferdinand has opined that Manchester United’s decision to replace Golden Glove winner David de Gea is “weird”.

Manchester United‘s Spanish custodian was a regular in the team for over a decade; however, in the last couple of years, David de Gea was slowly losing his Midas touch and hence committed horrendous mistakes on the pitch.

Following a long discussion over a new contract for the goalkeeper, United finally decided not to renew his contract, which led to him leaving the Red Devils after 12 years in July 2023. Since then, Erik ten Hag has signed Andre Onana from Inter Milan.

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Despite the African conceding a goal from the halfway line during United’s pre-season match against RC Lens, he has earned plaudits from the fans and pundits for his good ball-playing skills.

Rio Ferdinand, who spent almost 12 years donning the United shirt, reflected on Ten Hag’s preference for having a goalkeeper with better ball-playing ability than De Gea.

“I think if you listen to Erik ten Hag and how he’s spoken about him, that’s (ball-playing ability) the big angle that has swayed his decision. In terms of shot-stopping, David de Gea would have been widely regarded as one of the best in the world, and rightly so.

“He won the Golden Glove last year in the Premier League. It’s weird, isn’t it? The keeper that wins the Golden Glove is surplus to requirements at the end of the season. “

However, Ferdinand sang the praises of United’s new No. 1 Onana. Speaking about him, the Englishman backed Ten Hag’s decision to sign him, saying he would complement the coach’s style well.

“His style of play will enable Erik ten Hag to implement the way he wants his team to play. I think he was probably restricted a bit with David de Gea because his traits as a footballing goalkeeper are not as strong as someone like Onana’s.”