David de Gea: Erik ten Hag Ignored Benni McCarthy’s Advice As Andre Onana Struggles to Adapt

David de Gea: Erik ten Hag Ignored Benni McCarthy’s Advice As Andre Onana Struggles to Adapt

Martin Moses
October 4, 2023 at 7:25 AM
  • Erik ten Hag reportedly ignored the sentiments of one of his assistant coaches about David de Gea
  • The Dutchman was keen on letting go of the Spanish custodian after his contract ended last season
  • His Cameroonian replacement Andre Onana has not started well as he seeks to take de Gea's place

Andre Onana's early days at Manchester United have been hectic and underwhelming, to say the least. The goalkeeper has so far conceded 15 goals in his first nine games as a Red Devil.

However, there has been a slight improvement in recent games, with the shot-stopper keeping back-to-back clean sheets against Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Andre Onana, Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, David de Gea, Benni McCarthy
Andre Onana in action for Manchester United during their game against Crystal Palace on September 26. Photo by James Gill - Danehouse.
Source: Getty Images

The Cameroon international has been faulted for his ball-handling, with many arguing he has conceded cheap goals so far.

Head coach, Erik ten Hag brought him from Inter Milan in the summer in what was thought would be an upgrade to long-term number one, David de Gea.

Despite being one of the best goalkeepers in the world for some time, the Dutch coach grew tired of the Spaniard's mistakes during key games last season.

On a good day, the 32-year-old was unbeatable between the sticks but at times, he made novice mistakes, which led to the club not renewing his contract, as captured on the club's website.

What Benni McCarthy said about de Gea

But as it turns out, ten Hag wasn't reading from the same script as one of his assistants, Benni McCarthy.

The legendary South African striker, who works mainly with the club's attackers, paid glowing tribute to de Gea just a few weeks before the decision was made.

"He kept 17 clean sheets in the league. Yes, of course, you’re going to concede, but to win the Golden Glove for yet another season is remarkable," the former Blackburn star said in an interview with South African radio station 947 Joburg.

McCarthy even described de Gea as 'unbelievable':

"You see how difficult the league is, so I understand that everyone has a bad game here and there, but it doesn’t stop him from being one of the best goalkeepers I’ve seen and I’ve worked with."

It is still early days but Onana will know too well that any mistake he commits will fuel comparisons to de Gea as he seeks to win over the United faithful in the long run.

De Gea reportedly considering retirement

At the same time, Sports Brief has reported that football fans are pointing an accusing finger at Man United after disheartening reports emerged of de Gea considering retiring from football.

The 32-year-old is still a free agent more than two months after his contract at the Red Devils ran out and he is believed to have rejected several offers as he prefers to play as number one.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
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