Football

Who is Altay Bayindir? Man United goalkeeper tipped to battle Andre Onana for No.1 spot

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is facing a string of crucial team selection calls in the coming weeks as he looks to improve the Red Devils’ form.

An inconsistent run at the start of their Premier League and Champions League campaigns has rocked confidence in the progress United made under the Dutchman last season.

Despite investing heavily in his squad ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, Ten Hag’s team have struggled for fluency, with goalkeeper a key area of concern for the former Ajax head coach.

The departure of David de Gea facilitated a move to reunite Ten Hag with his ex-Ajax stopper Andre Onana, but the Cameroon international has been criticised for errors and he could now consider turning to another summer arrival in Altay Bayindir.

MORE: Will Man United sack Erik ten Hag? Odds, next games for Red Devils as pressure builds on manager

Who is Altay Bayindir? 

The decision not to renew De Gea’s contract was just one goalkeeping change at United this summer with Dean Henderson joining Premier League side Crystal Palace and Matej Kovar and Nathan Bishop also moving on.

With Onana brought in as a direct replacement for De Gea, Ten Hag agreed a late deal to sign Turkish international Bayindir from Fenerbahce.

Despite being club captain at Fenerbahce, the club’s move for Croatia international Dominik Livakovic in the final days of the summer transfer window persuaded him to accept a new challenge in Manchester.

115 league starts in four seasons at Fenerbahce demonstrates their faith in him, and he is battling for the No.1 spot with the Turkey national team, as they aim for Euro 2024 qualification.

The goalkeeper arrived at Old Trafford with 166 career appearances and 53 clean sheets to his name.

Bayindir spent his early years in his native Turkey in the youth systems of Bursaspor, Arabayatagispor, Bursa Yolspor and Ankaragucu, before making his senior debut for the latter club.

Ankaragucu achieved consecutive promotions in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons with Bayindir between the sticks as they reached the Super Lig.

After making 17 appearances in his first-ever Super Lig campaign, keeping five clean sheets, he signed for Turkish giants Fenerbahce in July 2019.

His impressive displays saw him receive a call up to the Turkey national side for their UEFA Nations League qualifiers against Hungary and Russia in November 2020; his senior debut came a year later in a friendly against Azerbaijan.

Bayindir has Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League experience from his time with Fenerbahce and he’ll be hoping to get his first taste of Premier League action soon.

Could Altay Bayindir replace Andre Onana at Man United?

Onana has been ever present for United in the Premier League and Champions League so far this season with a combined 10 starts.

However, his early United career has been dominated by inconsistency and mistakes, starting in the 1-0 win over Wolves on his debut on August 14.

The 27-year-old was fortunate not to be sent of for a wild challenge in the closing moments and he followed that up with a 2-0 loss at Tottenham.

From seven league games, Onana has kept just two clean sheets, with 11 goals conceded, and seven in the Champions League, after two games.

He was at fault for two goals in the 4-3 loss at Bayern Munich and his poor pass in the 3-2 Galatasaray defeat saw Casemiro sent off and a penalty conceded.

The temptation to bring in Bayindir will be present for Ten Hag in the weeks ahead, but Onana is still better suited at playing out from defence as part of United’s Plan A, if he can reduce the glare on his performances.

Bayindir could get his debut chance in the Carabao Cup clash at Newcastle on November 1.

However, the Turkey international could be called upon in January should Onana head to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Man United’s next match

United take on Brentford in their next Premier League match on Saturday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Here’s how that time translates across some of the major territories:

  Date Kickoff time
USA Sat Oct. 7 10:00 a.m. ET
Canada Sat Oct. 7 10:00 a.m. ET
UK Sat Oct. 7 3:00 p.m. BST
Australia Sun Oct. 8 1:00 a.m. AEST
India Sat Oct. 7 7:30 p.m. IST
Hong Kong Sat Oct. 7 10:00 p.m. HKT
Malaysia Sat Oct. 7 10:00 p.m. MYT
Singapore Sat Oct. 7 10:00 p.m. SGT
New Zealand Sun Oct. 8 3:00 a.m. NZDT

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