In a surprising turn of events, Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana has decided to prioritise club duty over his national commitment, opting to stay longer after playing against Tottenham Hotspur and miss Cameroon’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) opener against Guinea.
Initially, an agreement had been reached between Manchester United and the Cameroonian Football Federation to allow Onana to report late to the national team camp, ideally a day before their first AFCON game against Guinea. This arrangement aimed to permit the shot-stopper to feature for Manchester United against Spurs and later be in contention for the first game of the Indomitable Lions.
However, the latest development sees Onana making a U-turn, choosing to stay with Manchester United longer, presumably to secure his position within the club.
According to iNews, the decision has been greenlit by Cameroonian Football Federation president Samuel Eto’o.
A source revealed, “Andre is committed to playing for his country; he would not be there if he wasn’t. But United is the priority for him.” The decision raises questions about Onana’s potential role in the second match against Senegal, with considerations about the team’s chances if they were to lose the opening match to Guinea.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper had previously announced his retirement from international football after a fallout with coach Rigobert Song during the 2022 Qatar World Cup. However, he was recalled to the national squad in September 2023 for the final round of AFCON qualifiers against Burundi.
Manchester United, under manager Erik ten Hag, began the new year with momentum after a 2-0 victory against Wigan Athletic. The team will now aim to continue their positive run as they face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.