We have a new king of chaos.

Andre Onana can’t be stopped – football’s most chaotic ‘keeper is now on free-kicks

Andre Onana hasn’t pulled up too many trees since joining Manchester United, but still has plenty of stock in the bank as a world-class goalkeeper.

Proving invaluable for Inter as they reached the 2022-23 Champions League final, Onana was widely regarded as one of the best stoppers in the game and particularly heralded for his brilliant work with the ball at his feet.

It’s also become apparent through the years that the Cameroon international has the personality to get between the sticks at the top level.

What that actually means is that he’s got the crazy gene which most goalkeepers possess, effectively confirming that he’s got a few screws loose.

United signed Onana in a bid to bring a more progressive style of play to the field in Erik ten Hag’s second season in charge, but he’s struggled so far to turn his best traits at Inter into his strong points at Old Trafford.

There haven’t been quite as many intricately-clipped passes into space or confident acts of claiming the ball as United fans first anticipated, but instead a small catalogue of avoidable errors have cast doubt over his credentials to be United’s number one.

Onana isn’t having that, though.

After taking possibly the daftest route to the Africa Cup of Nations one could imagine, staying late at United to ‘help’ the side lose to Tottenham and then flying the same night to make Cameroon’s tournament opener the next day, he missed his nation’s first game but has since been restored to the XI.

That – and his actions since returning to the field – have confirmed suspicions that he does in fact have several screws loose. In fact, recent footage has helped us to confirm that Onana might actually be the perfect fit for United after all – because he appears to be an absolute nutter.

When he’s not trying to ping passes like prime Xavi or rush out of his goal like a man possessed, he appears to be thinking three or four steps ahead of everybody else.

Onana, keen to show off an exceptionally broad understanding of the game, found himself performing as the acting set-piece coach as Cameroon faced Senegal in matchday two.

The thing is, seemingly nobody else had signed off on that decision – except for Onana.

Modern goalkeepers who can do it all has just been taken to a dizzying new height.

Forget making crisp passes or being a sweeper-keeper. Hell, forget even making saves. If your stopper can coach players to bang free-kicks top bins on demand, then who needs to stop the ball at the other end?

The intrusive thoughts very clearly took over for United’s number one, who we are convinced is now battling Antonio Rudiger for the title of most unhinged player in football. And that takes some doing.

After turning up late to the tournament – and in poor form – having only recently returned to the national team, perhaps the 27-year-old ought to leave the set-piece tactics to, well, you know, the designated set-piece coach.

We can’t say we don’t love it, though, because we do. He’s box office. Having said that, we’re not quite sure United’s staff will agree, so it might be best to leave that tactic at the tournament.

More footballers need to let the intrusive thoughts win and let their personalities shine through on the field.

The beautiful game would become endlessly more fun – and complete chaos.

By Mitch Wilks

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