Erik Ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, may be able to save the loss of Andre Onana for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after the Cameroonian came out of retirement and apparently refused to commit to his nation through their qualification against Burundi. Cameroon has not yet qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins in the middle of January.
With Onana back in the international team following his public fallout with Rigobert Song at the 2022 World Cup, they had a crucial match against Burundi the following Tuesday. Onana participated for his nation in their first group game in Qatar before being expelled shortly afterward for “disciplinary issues.”
Shortly after the competition, the 27-year-old made the announcement that he was leaving international service. He ultimately failed to show up for vital back-to-back qualifiers against Namibia in March, resulting in Cameroon earning only one point from those two games.
To help his team qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, Onana has since made a comeback to the international stage this week. Onana has only agreed to play against Burundi, according to ESPN, and nothing else.
If they do qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, it is alleged that no decision has yet been taken regarding whether he will represent his nation there. For United, who could lose Onana for a month in the middle of the season, the news could be encouraging.
If the goalie ends up attending the Africa Cup of Nations, United would be without a goalkeeper and Ten Hag could have to rely on Altay Bayindir, a rookie, or Tom Heaton, a 37-year-old. Onana’s abrupt change of heart on his international retirement is also said to have surprised United.
Onana may have informed United during discussions that he had no immediate plans to return to the international setup. According to reports, Erik ten Hag is’sympathetic towards his reasons’ for wanting to represent his country in the match against Burundi.
Onana’s uncertainty over his future in international play, however, could present problems for United in the future. The summer acquisition is clearly Ten Hag’s No. 1, with Bayindir only being added as a backup choice.
If the Cameroonian ultimately qualifies for the Africa Cup of Nations, United may have to reenter the market if they don’t have faith in Bayindir to perform at such a young age at Old Trafford.