Onana and Ten Hag together at Ajax in 2019Image source, Getty Images

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

Just through his excellent performance in the Champions League final defeat by Manchester City, it was easy to see why Erik ten Hag wanted to bring his old Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana to Manchester United.

Onana’s distribution was not what you would call risk free - but it came out of the modern school of goalkeeping, where the last line of defence is now the first avenue of attack.

Goalkeepers are now expected to be comfortable with the ball at their feet, be able to play short and long passes accurately, and provide angles from which sides who dominate possession can advance down the pitch.

Evidently, this was not David de Gea’s forte.

What De Gea could do was save shots. It earned him four Manchester United player of the year awards and prevented what was a torrid period in the club’s history from being even worse.

Onana will have to save shots. He will also, as De Gea did, have to get to grips with the physicality of the Premier League and a relative leniency when it comes to aerial challenges in his own box.

Ten Hag will back Onana to respond to the challenge positively. If he does, the Cameroon international will be an inspired signing.