United's African connection is stronger than ever

Saturday 09 September 2023 09:00

The African influence at Manchester United is growing, with the club having more representatives from the continent than ever before.

Two of Erik ten Hag's summer signings play for countries from the region - Cameroon keeper Andre Onana and Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

Hannibal and Amad returned to the fold following loan spells in the Championship with Birmingham City and Sunderland last season, respectively.

Although Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly departed for Besiktas on a permanent basis, after a temporary spell with Marseille, it means we have more first-teamers from Africa than at any previous point in our history.

Andre Onana has returned to international football with Cameroon.

Onana came out of international retirement to resume his Cameroon career with the Indomitable Lions and Amrabat is a regular with Morocco, although our loan signing had to withdraw from their latest squad due to injury.

Hannibal, who was on the bench for the defeat at Arsenal, is with Tunisia after deciding to represent the Carthage Eagles in 2021.

Amad, unfortunately, is injured so absent from Ivory Coast duty but will be working hard to return to action.

Of course, there is also an African among the coaching team in the shape of Benni McCarthy, a key member of Ten Hag's staff.

The former striker scored 31 times in 79 caps for South Africa after representing Bafana Bafana between 1997 and 2012.

He played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United.

Benni McCarthy played 79 times for South Africa.


Quinton Fortune - South Africa (1999-2006)
Eric Djemba-Djemba  - Cameroon (2003-2005)
Manucho - Angola (2008-09)
Mame Biram Diouf - Senegal (2009-12)
Wilfried Zaha - Ivory Coast (2013-15)*
Eric Bailly - Ivory Coast (2016-2023)
Hannibal - Tunisia (2019-)
Odion Ighalo - Nigeria (2020-21)
Amad - Ivory Coast (2021-)
Sofyan Amrabat - Morocco (2023-)
Andre Onana - Cameroon (2023-)

* Zaha only committed to Ivory Coast in 2017, after leaving United.