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Ten Hag defends Onana after a shaky debut

Manchester United has integrated Andre Onana into their team, but Erik ten Hag concedes that there is “a lot of work to do” in the defensive department.

In a friendly match against Real Madrid at NRG Stadium in Houston, as part of United’s pre-season tour of the United States, the Red Devils debuted their new Cameroonian goalkeeper, Andre Onana.

However, Onana was beaten twice, with Jude Bellingham and Joselu securing a 2-0 victory for Real.

Erik ten Hag concedes that there are aspects for his £48 million ($62m) keeper and the defenders in front of him to work on.

Onana concede two goals in his debut for Man United

Asked about Onana’s first game for United, Ten Hag replied: “When you play against Real Madrid, you will concede chances because it is a very good team with very good football players. But, overall, we did quite well and in the moment we conceded chances, he was there. I think everyone has seen, he has made a good debut.

“We have a lot of work to do between him and the defending part. You could see the second goal where we are not closing the back post, it can’t be that and a goal will come there and that’s things that are the rules we have to follow. It will come quickly that we integrate that into our way of play.”

While the defensive issues are evident, Manchester United, with Marcus Rashford as the central striker, also failed to score in their forward attacks.

They are pursuing another striker, and there have been links to Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund. Ten Hag added: “Absolutely [the game shows why we are in the market for a new forward]. It’s always difficult to say. We are working 24-7. We do and everyone, well not everyone, but a lot in the club, and we give all the power to get this done and never talk about players under contract with another club, so we have our targets in the background. Club is busy with it to get the right player to sign a contract for us.”

Before wrapping up their time in America, Manchester United has one more friendly match to play against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Their goal is to sign another experienced No.9 well ahead of their 2023-24 Premier League season kick-off at home against Wolves on August 14.

Russell Murray
Russell Murray
Russell Murray is a passionate football journalist whose heart beats to the rhythm of the beautiful game. With an insatiable appetite for all things football, Russell is always seeking to capture the essence of the sport. Also, he strongly believes that Guti and Diego Milito never received the recognition they deserved for their contributions to football.


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