‘He’s an exceptional player’ – Guardiola singles out struggling Man United star for praise

Manchester City's Manager Pep Guardiola speaks during a news conference.

REUTERS/Daniel Kramer

Andre Onana might’ve bought himself a few days of relief after his heroic stoppage-time penalty save against Copenhagen in the Champions League.

With Manchester City next in line at Old Trafford, the Cameroonian goalkeeper would’ve to deliver another solid performance and then some this weekend to ensure the mood remains bright on the red side of Manchester.

Bar his display in the 1-0 win over Copenhagen, Onana has struggled to show his class at his new home, but so far Erik ten Hag has shown little signs of doubt over his number one’s quality and has continued to play him despite the presence of another new goalkeeper, Altay Bayindir.

Ahead of the derby, Pep Guardiola also showered praises on the 27-year-old. “He’s an exceptional player and now at United,” the City boss said in his press conference (via MEN).

“Everyone needs time [to adapt to the Premier League], not just the managers but players, keepers, everyone. Sometimes people are quicker but I have a high opinion of him as a keeper.”

Guardiola witnessed the former Inter man’s talents first-hand in the Champions League final last season, as City struggled all game to press the Nerazzurri defence higher up the pitch thanks to his composure in possession.

Many teams have opted against pressing United’s backline this season and instead target recovering the ball in the middle of the pitch. It will certainly be interesting to see how the Spaniard sets up his team against the Red Devils on Sunday.