Manchester United have unveiled the signing of their new number one goalkeeper but that’s not the shirt Andre Onana will be wearing. The Cameroonian has officially joined the Red Devils from Inter Milan in a deal worth around £47million including add-ons.
The 27-year-old’s arrival ends Erik ten Hag’s hunt for a new No.1 after David de Gea left the club following the end of his contract. Spanish stopper De Gea vacated the club’s number one jersey after his deal expired on June 30 for his replacement to take over. David de Gea’s No.1 shirt is chosen by new Manchester United goalkeeper Paul Scholes
But Onana, who reunites with Ten Hag following their partnership at Ajax, will continue to wear the No.24 at Old Trafford. Here’s why…
Why does Onana wear the number 24 #SPORT ?
Onana’s history with the high digits dates back to when he first donned the shirt at Ajax. The keeper was born on the 2nd of April – or 2/4 – which led to him taking the 24 shirt as Jasper Cillessen occupied the No.1 at the time. A year after Cillessen’s 2016 exit to Barcelona, Onana opted to upgrade to the vacant number one jersey
The Cameroon international had just come off the back of a successful breakthrough season in the Ajax first team. However, the 2017/18 campaign, the only season of Onana’s senior career in which he wore the No.1, was a disappointing one.
Ajax finished second in the Eredivisie and failed to progress through the qualifying rounds of both European competitions.
On a personal note, Onana also conceded more goals in less games and saw his 21 clean sheets domestically and in the Europa League in 2016/17 drop to just 12 the next season.
He reverted back to the no.24 in 2018/19 and kept 26 clean sheets, including four in the Champions League while Ajax enjoyed their best season in recent memory.
Buoyed by Onana’s heroics, Ajax claimed a league and cup double under Ten Hag and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
He had since kept the number 24 ever since following his switch to Inter Milan and has now stuck with what works at Old Trafford.
The shirt has been available since January 2021 when Tim Fosu-Mensah completed his move to Bayer Leverkusen and has been worn by Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Darren Fletcher in the Premier League era.