Manchester United fans got a double dose of news today, with excitement tempered by concern. While jubilant about Andre Onana's inclusion in Cameroon's squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), they now face the prospect of a month without their star goalkeeper.
The tournament runs from January 13 to February 11, 2024, potentially leaving the Red Devils short-staffed between the sticks during a crucial period. Onana's absence coincides with a critical juncture in the Premier League season, where United are battling for a coveted European spot.
Manager Erik ten Hag will have to rely on untested talent to fill the void. Altay Bayindir, yet to make his official debut, is likely to be thrust into the spotlight, facing the pressure of high-stakes league matches. His ability to step up and maintain United's defensive solidity remains a major question mark.
The news of Onana's AFCON call-up adds another layer of complexity to an already challenging January schedule. With key fixtures against top-six rivals looming, United's depth will be thoroughly tested.
While fans celebrate Onana's return to the international stage, they can't help but worry about the impact on their club's ambitions. The coming weeks will be a defining period for both Onana and Manchester United, as they navigate their respective challenges with grit and determination.