HomeFeatured ArticlesReport: Afcon Call-Up Could Sideline Key Man Utd Player

Report: Afcon Call-Up Could Sideline Key Man Utd Player

The Complexities of Andre Onana’s Commitment: Balancing Manchester United and Cameroon Duties

Navigating Club and Country

Andre Onana, Manchester United’s recent addition in goal, finds himself at a crossroads, balancing his club commitments with national duty for Cameroon. This conundrum arises as Onana grapples with the decision to participate in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with Cameroon. Such a choice could see him absent from up to seven crucial games for Manchester United.

Onana’s Journey: From Retirement to Return

Previously, Onana had stepped away from international football following a fallout with Cameroon’s head coach Rigobert Song during the last World Cup, which led to his departure from Qatar. Despite initial hesitations, he rejoined the national team for the final Afcon qualifier against Burundi in September, succumbing to pressures from both governmental and football associations. This return was solidified by his recent participation in a friendly against Senegal.

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The Dilemma: Club Versus Country

Initially, the goalkeeper’s adjustment challenges in England had him leaning towards forgoing the January tournament to focus on his role at Old Trafford. However, as reported by iNews, a source close to Onana suggests he is leaning towards participating in the Afcon. If selected and Cameroon progresses to the final, Onana could miss a significant portion of Manchester United’s season, including four Premier League games, two FA Cup ties, and a potential Carabao Cup semi-final.

Onana’s Evolving Role at Manchester United

Despite early struggles and some high-profile mistakes, Onana has begun to demonstrate his worth, notably with a crucial penalty save against Copenhagen in the Champions League. His performance against Manchester City, despite the defeat, showcased his capability to stand firm under pressure. This prowess was further acknowledged as he placed 23rd in the recent Ballon d’Or vote.

The Consequences of Onana’s Decision

Should Onana choose to join Cameroon in January, Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag may find himself in a difficult position. The manager, familiar with Onana’s skills from their time at Ajax, could attempt to persuade him to stay. Failure to do so might thrust Altay Bayindir, a summer acquisition from Fenerbahce yet to debut for United, into a critical role during a pivotal season phase.

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