André Onana fears Afcon trip could cost him Manchester United No 1 spot

<span>Photograph: Tolga Bozoğlu/EPA</span>
Photograph: Tolga Bozoğlu/EPA

André Onana is concerned that if he plays at the Africa Cup of Nations he could lose his place as Manchester United’s first-choice goalkeeper.

The Cameroonian is likely to be called up for the competition that runs from 13 January to 11 February in Ivory Coast and could miss four Premier League matches. Onana quit international football after a disagreement with the Cameroon head coach, Rigobert Song, during the 2022 World Cup but has since made himself available.

Onana was at fault for two of Galatasaray’s goals in United’s 3-3 Champions League draw on Wednesday. He has played every game for United this season, including in the Carabao Cup, but the pressure is growing on him after his latest mistakes.

United bought Altay Bayindir in the summer from Fenerbahce to be Onana’s deputy and the 25-year-old would get an opportunity to prove his worth to Erik ten Hag if Onana goes to Afcon. Tom Heaton is the third-choice goalkeeper.

“We are very pleased with the goalkeeper group,” Ten Hag said. “André, Altay, Tom, as a group they do really well, they have good performances and they have to push each other. Altay, he gets used to the Premier League, he gets used to European football – which is tough when you’re coming from Turkey. But we are very pleased with that process, he’s doing very well. He has to be patient, but if he works well, if he keeps his progress, he will get his chances and then he has to take this.”

United’s captain, Bruno Fernandes, said of Onana’s errors against Galatasaray: “Onana knows how to manage these moments – it has happened in the past already. It happens. He knows he needs to do better as every one of us needed to do better for us to leave here with a good result. It’s not only because of him that we leave with a bad result, but everyone should be accountable for their responsibilities. I take my responsibility, we have to get better.”