Manchester United are set to lose their No 1 for a month in January as Andre Onana has been called up by Cameroon.
The African Cup of Nations begins on January 11th and will run till February 13th and Onana will represent his country in the African continent’s premier international competition.
The Cameroon National team’s X (previously Twitter) account shared the news-
Liste des Lions Indomptables sélectionnés pour la CAN 2023.
— Les Lions Indomptables Officiel (@LIndomptables) December 28, 2023
This puts a rest to long-running murmurs about Onana’s international future, particularly for the AFCON after there was a thawing of his relationship with the national team.
The United goalkeeper had retired from the national team in a fiasco at the World Cup last year but was reinstated into the setup this season.
When United signed him, the expectation was that he would stay retired but things changed and perhaps anticipating this, United signed a new backup goalkeeper in Altay Bayindir.
Bayindir is yet to appear for the club, with Ten Hag stressing that Onana needs to play with the team to build understanding. The same issue is now expected to appear for the Turkish goalkeeper.
If Cameroon goes all the way to the finals, Onana will miss four games for the club- Tottenham (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), and Aston Villa (A).
Their elimination from the Carabao Cup has enabled Onana to leave for AFCON without the prospect of missing more matches.
The last game before Onana has to leave for AFCON will be the FA Cup tie away to Wigan but Erik ten Hag might choose to go with Bayindir in that game to get him settled between the sticks against lower-league opposition.
Unlike Onana, Tunisia’s Hannibal Mejbri has withdrawn from AFCON to commit to saving his United career.
However, their positions are vastly different and United are sure to wait expectantly for the Cameroonian to return and go straight back in between the posts.