While eyebrows were raised when Manchester United took the decision to move on from David de Gea, plenty came back down once his successor was identified.
Having been crying out for a goalkeeper that is good with his feet for several years, Andre Onana looked to be the perfect fit for an ambitious outfit at Old Trafford.
He was, and still is an experienced international with Cameroon and helped Inter to the Champions League final in 2022-23.
At the end of that campaign, he was named in the Team of the Year pieced together by UEFA recognizing the stars that shone brightest in European football’s elite club competition.
When Onana unpacked his bags in England, all appeared to be right in the world. Fast forward a matter of months and there are now more questions than answers when it comes to United’s last line of defense.
Another Onana mistake 👁️ pic.twitter.com/IwRtAjQRom— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 29, 2023
To his credit, Onana has remained defiant and refused to consider changing his ways – despite the costly errors beginning to stack up.
There is, however, no escaping the fact that fingers of blame are being pointed in his direction.
United are now said to be mulling over their options, with more investment behind the scenes allowing plans to be tweaked when it comes to future recruitment.
The Red Devils have rolled the dice before, and will do so again.
For them, much like a punter looking to take advantage of a free bet on the vast array of casino games that are now available, it is all about removing the element of chance and taking calculated gambles.
There will be an outlay on their part – considerable at times – but that is sometimes the only way to play when the rewards are so great.
Onana was supposed to help them to hit the jackpot, but a winning hand is yet to fall into their lap.
They cannot afford to keep blindly putting down chips in the hope that a change of fortune will arrive, with it important at some point to walk away from the table.
That day may be some way off when it comes to Onana, with there plenty of faith and funds invested in him, but he will be fully aware of the need to deliver under the brightest of spotlights.
Criticism has seemingly never been far away, with former Red Devils defender Paul Parker saying: “Andre Onana’s weaknesses have to be his abilities as a goalkeeper, especially his ability to save the balls, his shot stopper abilities and his handling. He is erratic and he is never in control.”
Andre Onana is feeling the pressure 😞 pic.twitter.com/5vzOhJ0Zqf— GOAL (@goal) September 20, 2023
That is hardly a glowing endorsement of a man whose job it is to keep balls out of the back of the net.
Being comfortable with his feet is one thing – the kind of thing that got him through the door at the Theatre of Dreams – but any goalkeeper has to be as strong with their hands in order to succeed.
The questions of Onana will continue for as long as he allows them to, with it up to United to decide how long they are willing to stick for before twisting again becomes the only option.