Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has been proven right for the wrong reason at Euro 2024 | Football | Sport

Erik ten Hag came under scrutiny for a range of reasons throughout his turbulent second season as Manchester United manager, including his decision to sign Andre Onana to replace David de Gea. United splashed £47million to lure Onana from Inter Milan, and related questions were regularly raised during a mixed maiden campaign.

The 28-year-old endured a tough start, particularly in a disastrous Champions League group stage, but showed glimpses of the world-class quality he displayed at the San Siro.

He will remain United’s first-choice goalkeeper as part of what everyone linked with the club will hope is a vastly improved 2024/25 season.

But one branch of the tree of criticism that loomed over Ten Hag last term was regarding the other stopper he recruited last summer.

Altay Bayindir was handed the No. 1 shirt after completing a £4m switch from Turkish giants Fenerbahce, signing a four-year contract with the option of a further year.

His inheritance of De Gea’s shirt indicated that Ten Hag was planning to put him against Onana in a battle for the honour of a starting berth.

However, Bayindir started just once last season, an FA Cup fourth-round trip to League Two club Newport County in January.

Onana was representing Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, leaving Ten Hag with little choice but to select the 26-year-old.

United beat the minnows 4-2 at Rodney Parade during what turned out to be a winning FA Cup run when they conquered Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on May 25.

But Bayindir wasn’t seen on the pitch again while Onana started the Red Devils’ other 51 matches, making more appearances than any other player.

Ten Hag’s decision to overlook Bayindir, especially in cup games, was the subject of criticism among some sections of the fanbase and outsiders.

However, it indicated that the Dutchman hadn’t been left impressed by the low-cost replacement for De Gea’s cover, Jack Butland.

Bayindir’s role in Turkey’s 3-0 defeat against Portugal at Euro 2024 on Saturday – having not featured in his nation’s opener – helped confirm some scepticism over his quality.

While Samet Akaydin was primarily at fault for a comedic own goal that doubled Portugal’s lead, the Turkish ‘keeper’s decision to race off his line under no pressure was rightly questioned.

Akaydin didn’t look up as he passed the ball past Bayindir and across the line, helping Roberto Martinez’s side guarantee top spot in Group F.

United’s No. 1 has been linked with a summer exit due to his lack of game time. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Ten Hag sanctioned a transfer if a suitable offer arose.

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