Andre Onana to Miss AFCON to Focus on Manchester United

Andre Onana during the 2022 World Cup match between Switzerland vs Cameroon
Andre Onana during the 2022 World Cup match between Switzerland vs Cameroon. Photo by Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (13636156r)

Andre Onana’s return to the Cameroonian national team will likely be short-lived. According to recent reports from English media, Manchester United’s goalkeeper intends to miss the upcoming African Cup of Nations in order to focus on club duties.

Onana initially retired from international soccer after a falling out with Cameroon’s head coach, Rigobert Song, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, the relationship between the two seemed to have improved following an intervention by the country’s government and football association.

Onana agreed to represent his country again for the last game of the AFCON qualifiers in September and helped Cameroon book a place in the tournament. However, taking part in AFCON would require the 27-year-old player to miss a month of Premier League action, something he has been reluctant to do.

Reportedly, Onana wants to remain with Manchester because his time with the club didn’t start the way he envisioned. Since arriving in the Premier League in a £47 million move from Inter Milan, Onana has been error-prone and struggled to keep a clean sheet.

In 10 matches he played for United, Onana conceded 18 goals and managed to keep his goal intact only three times. But despite this, the club’s manager, Erik Ten Hag, isn’t losing confidence in his No. 1.

“We are happy with our goalkeeping group,” said Ten Hag earlier this week. “Andre was in one semifinal of the Champions League [with Ajax], he was in the final last season [with Inter], so he has capabilities to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has shown that. We have already seen in games his great capabilities, also his personality. He will bounce back.”