Andre Onana’s transfer to Manchester United was confirmed on Thursday evening after an eventful saga and he has chosen an obscure number for his shirt.
They are facing Arsenal on Saturday night, which could possibly be Onana’s first chance to play for the club – however, a decision on whether he is to play is yet to be confirmed.
When he does make his unofficial debut for United, it will not be in the shirt many expected.
Onana has decided to stick with the no.24 that he has worn for the most-part of his career, rather than take over the no.1 shirt that has been left vacant after De Gea’s exit.
Confirmation of the shot-stoppers’ shirt number caused a minor stir within the fanbase online, who were unaware of his reasons to pass up on the shirt worn by the likes of De Gea, Edwin van der Sar and Peter Schmeichel.
Below, UtdDistrict have detailed the two main reasons why the goalkeeper has decided to go with the obscure no.24 at United.
Reason 1: Date of birth
The first reason is one that is quite simple, and a little boring.
Onana has worn the no.24 for much of his career as he was born on the 2nd of April – or 2/4 – which is one reason why he first donned the shirt at Ajax.
Reason 2: From the 2017/18 campaign to 2018/19
The second reason that Onana has decided against the no.1 at United is a little more detailed and dates back to the only time in his professional career that he has donned the number.
After three years at Ajax, the goalkeeper swapped no.24 for no.1 ahead of the 2017/18 campaign. He had just come off the back of his breakthrough season in the first team.
However, that 2017/18 campaign was a disappointing one for Onana and Ajax. They finished as runners up in the Eredivisie, was knocked out of the round-of-16 in the domestic cup and failed to progress through the qualifying rounds of both the Champions League and Europa League.
Therefore, in the upcoming summer, Onana changed back to the no.24 – and Ajax would go onto have one of their best seasons in recent memory in the following campaign.
Then-manager of the Dutch side, Erik ten Hag would lead them to a league and cup double, as well as a memorable run in the Champions League – reaching the semi-finals of the competition.
Onana was crucial to that season and has kept the no.24 since.
So it is now understandable that, with the opportunity to take the no.1 for a second time in his career, he has decided to stick with what has worked best.
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