‘I Want To Pay Back United Fans’

André Onana

 

André Onana has said he wants to “start to pay back” Manchester United fans for their support at the start of the season as he adjusted to life at Old Trafford.

The Cameroon international, who joined United for £47 million ($59.4m) from Inter Milan last summer, had been integral to the Serie A club’s run to the Champions League final in 2023. No goalkeeper kept more clean sheets (8) than he did in the 2022-23 edition of the tournament.

Onana’s start to his time at the club was marked by turbulence. He made high-profile errors in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray and conceded 15 goals across six games as United finished bottom of their group.

The 28-year-old has previously admitted that it took him six months to “just to feel good” at United, but his upturn in form has been a rare bright spot in what has been a difficult season for United.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Onana revealed how he was blown away by the backing he received from United fans during those early struggles.

“I received a lot of positive messages when I arrived here and when I was facing difficulty here, [the] message from the fans, from Manchester United fans [across] the whole world there was like, ‘André take your time. We know who you are and everything will be all right,'” he said.

“But it was strange because normally a fan, a normal fan is just looking for the result. But I received the message[s]… ‘André, don’t worry, we are with you. Keep going.’

“They trust me and I was like, ‘wow, I never had this before.’ Most of the time [wherever] you go, when you don’t deliver in the beginning they’re straight. It is difficult. But here they were very nice with me and I think it’s time maybe now to start to pay back now because they were very nice with me.”

Onana also spoke of how he harnessed patience and positivity from within to get through that period.