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Andre Onana: Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag says goalkeeper is second best ‘based on stats’ in the league

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Andre Onana: Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag says goalkeeper is second best 'based on stats' in the league

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says goalkeeper Andre Onana is the Premier League’s second-best goalkeeper “based on stats”.

However, the Cameroonian is tied for most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with five.

And Onana has also prevented 3.67 goals – the second most in the league.

Only Luton Town’s Thomas Kaminski is ahead of him on 6.3 goals prevented.

Those numbers come from Opta calculations, with actual goals conceded being subtracted from the expected goals on target (xGOT) conceded figures, which reflect quality of chances for the opponent and shot execution.

Defending his keeper, Ten Hag said: “If you analyse it well then you see he is the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League based on stats, so his expected defending goals is the second best in the Premier League.”

Onana was a £47.2m summer signing from Inter Milan in the summer, replacing David de Gea, who left at the end of his contract.

But in addition to the mistakes in Turkey, he also made errors in the 4-3 loss to Bayern Munich at the start of the group phase.

Ten Hag, whose team play Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday evening, said of Onana: “He’s doing well. Also he knows that in the Champions League he makes some mistakes, but all over you see the first five months he is doing particularly well.

“You have seen how he reacted to a bad performance like in Munich. At Burnley he was outstanding.

“He is a strong character, he is a personality and he will deal with it.”

According to Opta, Onana has made four errors leading to shots in this season’s Champions League, one more than any other goalkeeper. United are facing slightly more shots per game in this competition (15.4) compared to the Premier League (14.6).

His 34 line-breaking passes is the third most among all goalkeepers in the Champions League, indicating Ten Hag’s desire to bring in a ball-playing goalkeeper.

With 43.7 touches and 25.6 successful passes every 90 minutes in the Premier League, on average Onana has been involved in play more than any Manchester United goalkeeper in recent history, going as far back as such records are available (since 2006-07).

In terms of the most important element of his job, keeping the ball out of the net, the United goalkeeper has conceded 15 goals from 18.67 xGOT conceded in the Premier League, indicating he is exceeding expectations overall in this area. Own goals are not included in such calculations.

Goalkeeper Games Goals conceded (excl. own goals) Expected goals on target conceded Goals prevented
Thomas Kaminski (Luton) 13 22 28.3 6.3
Andre Onana (Man Utd) 13 15 18.67 3.67
Neto (Bournemouth) 11 20 23.49 3.49
Alisson Becker (Liverpool) 13 10 13.36 3.36
Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham) 13 16 19.31 3.31
Jose Sa (Wolves) 13 22 25.29 3.29
Wes Foderingham (Sheff Utd) 13 33 35.59 2.59
Alphonse Areola (West Ham) 13 22 24.47 2.47
Bernd Leno (Fulham) 13 20 22.4 2.4
Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa) 12 15 17.23 2.23

Van de Beek needs to move for his career – Ten Hag

Ten Hag has told Donny van de Beek he probably needs to move in the January transfer window to reignite his career.

Van de Beek has only made two substitute appearances, both against Crystal Palace in September, since recovering from the major knee injury he sustained against Bournemouth in January.

The 26-year-old midfielder was not even selected in United’s Champions League squad and, given Ten Hag has numerous options for Van de Beek’s preferred central role, it is impossible to imagine he will make a breakthrough now three-and-a-half years after completing a £35m move from Ajax.

It has previously been suggested Van de Beek lacks the force of personality to excel in an environment like United and, while Ten Hag is naturally protective of his Dutch compatriot, he recognises the current situation is not helping his career.

“Donny has to play,” he said.

“It was a slow start to the season because he was still recovering from physical setbacks but he is back now and doing really well in training.

“In games, he was in the squad, so he had the opportunity but I can see he has to play for his career and everything.”

Van de Beek said in an interview last week it might be time to find a fresh challenge.

He was heavily linked with La Liga outfit Real Sociedad in the summer but a move failed to materialise.

Van de Beek still has 18 months left on the five-year contract he signed when he joined United.

He has made just six Premier League starts during his time with the Old Trafford club. He made five during a six-month loan spell at Everton in the 2021-22 campaign.

Meanwhile, United defender Tyrell Malacia has “successfully” undergone further knee surgery after suffering a setback in his recovery, the club said.

Malacia, 24, is yet to feature this season after having an initial operation in the summer.

He is back at the club to start his rehabilitation and is expected to return to action “early in the new year”.

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