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Rio Ferdinand agrees with Erik ten Hag’s Man United decision despite ‘gutted’ comments



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Credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto

Rio Ferdinand has supported Erik ten Hag’s decision on Manchester United’s goalkeeping situation despite previously stating he was ‘gutted’ with how David de Gea’s contract saga unravelled.

Andre Onana of Inter Milan is set to become United’s new no.1 after De Gea confirmed he will be leaving the club after 12 years on Saturday.

The club were in negotiations with the Spaniard for several months but were unable to come to an agreement on terms. The saga was filled with various rumours, tweets and overall it was quite a messy situation.

Ferdinand, who played alongside De Gea during his first two seasons at Old Trafford, is not happy with how things have played out

“I’m just a little bit gutted with the way that the club have handled the David de Gea situation. I think it comes down to communication,” he said.

Onana, 27, will be taking the mantle from De Gea and suits Erik ten Hag’s style much better. He worked alongside the Dutch manager at Ajax for five years.

Despite his prior comments, Ferdinand has supported the decision from the United boss and agrees that Onana will allow the club to fully adjust to his preferred playing style.

“I remember, I watched a lot of Ajax when Erik ten Hag was there and a lot of what he wants to do is about playing out from the back,” he explained on his YouTube channel.

“You can see when he first came (to United), I think they got caught out numerous times – I think Brentford is the one that sticks out in my mind. They were obviously trying to implement his playing style which is definitely playing out of the back from the goalkeeper and they got pressed, battered and bruised doing that.

“They obviously switched after that and started playing a bit longer and balancing out playing out of the back and then going long. I think ideally, he would want them to be a team that play out of the back immediately and control possession and different phases of the game.

“And to do that, you need a goalkeeper that is completely competent, really calm and authoritative and confident in doing that.

“And Onana absolutely fits the bill. I remember I spoke to Pep (Guardiola) before the Champions League final and he highlighted Onana the goalkeeper as somebody they will have to prepare for.

“How many goalkeepers do you usually have to prepare for in terms of building out from the back? There aren’t many in world football and Onana is one of them.

“He’ll definitely give Manchester United a presence, more confidence and ability to play out from the back and I think he suits an Erik ten Hag team completely.”

It is believed that the new goalkeeper will be on wages of around £115,000-per-week plus bonuses, which is a great deal all round.

Reports have also stated that the United boss has been the driving force behind the pursuit of Onana and De Gea’s exit.

Speaking on the Spaniard’ exit, Ten Hag said: “I’m personally grateful for the 25 clean sheets he helped provide last season and his overall contribution on the pitch during my first year at the club. All the players and staff send him our very best wishes for the next phase of his outstanding career.”