Andre Onana Admits to Overcoming Mental Struggles at Manchester United

Manchester United news- Man Utd goalkeeper Andre Onana opens up about mental resilience, overcoming challenges, and promises a bright future after a transformative season

Andre Onana: Aiming high at Man Utd
Andre Onana: Aiming high at Man Utd / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Premier League heavyweights Manchester United have been a stark contrast of their former selves, who were consistent winners under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Aiming to reclaim their lost glory, Erik ten Hag, since taking charge at Old Trafford in 2022, invested in acquiring promising talents to revamp the squad.

One of the premier signings of last summer was goalkeeper Andre Onana.

The highly-rated stopper signed for United from Inter Milan for £48 million [$61 million] as the replacement for outgoing keeper David de Gea, who left on a free transfer.

Onana endured a tough start to his campaign at United, and after a series of some major mistakes, both in the Premier League and in the Champions League, resulted in Manchester United’s exit from the European competition from the group stage and they failed to keep pace among the elites domestically, plummeting in the league.

Being subjected to huge criticism early on in his career at The Theatre of Dreams, Onana shared his journey from a rocky start to newfound confidence and gratitude.

Speaking ahead of the highly anticipated Manchester derby, he admitted to issues he dealt with in the past few months. Onana said:

"I had a turning point, but not on the pitch… more mental. Of course, last season I moved from Amsterdam [with Ajax] to Milan but that adaptation was quite easy. But it took me seven, eight months here. It was just time to learn and go game by game. I hope we will end on top."

"I already know the goalkeeper that I am. It took me six months or seven months not to play good just to feel good. It was a difficult time for me. Now I’m feeling a bit better. Everything was new, it was difficult for me to feel at home for so many reasons… new country."

"Now I’m feeling good. I don’t want to talk about performance because I know the goalkeeper I am. The most important thing is to be set, to be happy and I will shine."

The Cameroon international revealed his teammates at United have been an immense source of support and also acknowledged the fans for believing in him through this tough period.

"My team-mates – they always reminded me who I am and the goalkeeper I am and why I came to this club. They told me, ‘André, it took some players two years, for others six months and others no time. You have that personality to turn the situation [around]. They always believed in me and told me from the beginning, ‘André, the quality is there, it’s just a matter of time,"

he continued

"I am very happy, especially with the supporters, the fans, they were nice with me even in difficult periods and I’m very thankful. I can only thank them. Everything is behind me, now we have to move on and together a great time will come. We just have to do the right thing and the future will be brilliant for all of us."

"Playing in the final of the Champions League and being knocked out in the first stage after a few months later… it was a big lesson for me. Now I think I have everything on my back, learn it, move on and try to be happy. That is the most important thing."

Navigating through the struggles, reflecting on the mental hurdles, Onana asserted it is a story of the past as he delves into his aspirations for the remainder of the campaign.

He expressed determination to secure Champions League qualification and end the season on a high note.

The 27-year-old ended by saying:

"We are going to try to end on top even if we have a lot of injuries. Of course it’s not an excuse but this season a lot of things happened, a lot of moments it was difficult for us."

"But as a Manchester United player you must win so we are all responsible for what happened. I take all the responsibility like always. I know how good we are and I believe in my players and that everything will change."

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