Rio Ferdinand's warning over Andre Onana rings true after nightmare home debut

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Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand's warning over Andre Onana rings true after nightmare home debut

Andre Onana was badly caught out on his home debut - just weeks after Rio Ferdinand that the Manchester United goalkeeper's style would lead to mistakes.

Onana, 27, is set to start the season as United's new first-choice shot-stopper after completing a £47million switch from Inter Milan last month. The Cameroon international will step into the void left by David de Gea, who spent more than a decade as United's No.1 before leaving the club as a free agent earlier this summer.

Erik ten Hag moved to sign Onana due to his ability to play out from the back; something that wasn't particularly one of De Gea's strengths. However, Onana's sweeper-keeper style was exposed in brutal fashion during United's 3-1 win over RC Lens on Saturday.

Onana was left with egg on his face after Florian Sotoca lobbed him from the half-way line after spotting the shot-stopper in an advanced position midway through the first-half. United recovered to win their final pre-season game 3-1 courtesy of goals from Marcus Rashford, Antony and Casemiro.

Intriguingly, the type of goal United conceded was mentioned as a possibility by Ferdinand. The former United defender told Vibe with FIVE last month: “He’ll give United more confidence and more ability to play out from the back and I think he suits an Erik ten Hag team. He’s a real modern-day goalkeeper. You see teams pressing him and he doesn’t even panic.

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He gets the ball in, brings on the press says ‘Come on, come to me’ and when that player comes to him he knows there’s a player free somewhere else and he normally finds them.

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Rio Ferdinand's warning over Andre Onana rings true after nightmare home debutAndre Onana was caught out by a strike from the halfway line during Manchester United's 3-1 win over RC Lens

“I think there will be mistakes and playing that risky way you do have mistakes and that happens, but it’s about staying true to your beliefs, finding the right balance and remaining calm throughout those periods.”

Onana, who starred in Inter Milan's run to the Champions League final last season, fronted up to club media after the game and took full responsibility for the goal.

He told MUTV: “I’m happy for the win. Of course we can always be better. Some things we have to try to fix. Like I always say, I am responsible for everything especially when we concede goals.

“I’m the big man at the back so I take all the criticism, all the pressure on me. It was a great game for me and for the guys, some important goals and I’m happy for everything.”

Sotoca's audacious strike didn't dampen Onana's day, though. He added: “I am so happy for my debut. But the most important thing was the victory. [The cheering from fans during the warm-up] was a great welcome for me. I am happy for the victory, today was important and now we get ready for the coming games.”

Dan Marsh

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