Onana: I'm not just here for my feet!

Tuesday 19 September 2023 21:21

Andre Onana is excited, confident and focused, as he prepares for his first Champions League game since replacing David De Gea as Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper.

The Cameroon international reached the final of the competition last season, when he earned a runners-up medal with Inter Milan, and now he's ready to help his new club take on Bayern Munich away in what promises to be a tough group-stage opener.

Onana sat alongside his manager Erik ten Hag at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday evening and, as you can watch and read below, he answered questions about his attributes, his relationship with Harry Maguire and the possibility of playing for his country at the Africa Cup of Nations in January...
Press conference v Bayern Munich Video

Press conference v Bayern Munich

Press conference | See how Erik ten Hag and Andre Onana answered the media's questions at the Allianz Arena...

Andre, you’ve had a good start here at Manchester United. The fans admire your passion. Is that important to you? And also, have you had added extra expectation after replacing David De Gea, one of the most established players here at Manchester United, some would call a legend at the football club? Have you handled that okay?
“Well, I'm a very passionate player and I demand a lot from my players and my defenders. But like I always said, we are in this together. Being part of this big club is something great. Manchester United is an amazing club, it’s huge. I am happy to be here. Replacing David is not something easy. I try to do my best of course. The start of the season is not what we want, but we believe better will come, the situation will turn and I am very confident. I know everything will be alright.”
You mentioned before about the demands you place on team-mates. A lot is is still being made about the the incident or argument with Harry Maguire in Las Vegas, I think it was your first game for the club, when you reacted to a mistake he made. Are you surprised how much was made of that? And is that just what you are like, that you will react if you feel a team-mate has made a mistake?
“No, Harry’s a very good guy. I have a good relationship with him. I even spoke with him this morning before we took off to Munich. And what happened there, I already explained straight away after the game. I don't think we have to give importance to what happened. We are big guys and what happened on the pitch stays on the pitch. I have a good relationship with Harry.”
Andre, we know that you're renowned for playing up from the back. You're very comfortable on the ball as a goalkeeper. How important is it for you to show that you're more than that, though? You are a good shot stopper. You are good at claiming crosses. You can command the box. Do you find that frustrating and do you feel that you also need to prove that you're not just good with your feet, you're more than that?
“Well, I don't think I'm here because of my ability with my feet! My history speaks for me. But like I always say, the most important thing is the team. We are here to win and I have to adapt myself with the team. If the team needs me to be good with the feet, I will be good with the feet. If the team is playing with a low block or we are playing higher, depending on the situation, I'm goalkeeper first of all. I have to save balls. That's why I'm here. And we all have to step up. Like I said in the beginning, we didn't start well this season, but I'm very confident everything will become right. I'm excited for tomorrow, it’s an important game for us. It's a key game. And when I see how the team is working, how we have been working this week, I am very confident and I'm very excited.”

Congratulations on reaching the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon. I just wondered, do you know yet what you'll do in that situation if you're called up?
“If I'm called up? We don't know if I'm going to be called up so we cannot speak about things we don't know. Let's see what's going to happen in the next month. But we are here to play against Bayern Munich. It’s an important game for us and the most important thing is to have all our focus on the game tomorrow.”