Manchester United’s struggles this season are well established, with the Red Devils unable to reach the levels of last campaign. After Erik ten Hag took over as the manager of United in the summer of 2022, United overcame early wobbles to end the season on a high. They won the Carabao Cup, reached the FA Cup final and finished third in the Premier League. However, United were unable to build on the momentum gained from the last campaign.
Erik ten Hag’s side are already out of the Carabao Cup and Champions League. Besides, they are also far behind in the Premier League top-four race. Various reasons can be attributed to the dip in form, with injuries to key players playing an important role. Besides, individual mistakes have equally proven costly, with first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana making some uncharacteristic mistakes. As a result, some believed Altay Bayindir, who joined Manchester United last summer from Fenerbahce, could replace Onana. However, this has not been the case till now.
With Onana away with Cameroon to play the Africa Cup of Nations, Bayindir could finally get his opportunity to make his debut. However, the Turkish player has to wait for some more time before stepping out onto the pitch since the club is enjoying a small break before action resumes. Ahead of his potential debut later this month, Bayindir explained one of the reasons behind him choosing to become a goalkeeper. “When I’m younger, I was watching a lot of games and I don’t remember which game, but one game, I’m watching with my parents,” he told the club’s website recently.
Why did Altay Bayindir decide to become a goalkeeper?
He added: “In this game I saw a penalty and all the fans were just looking for the goalkeeper: please, you can catch the ball. I was feeling this energy and [so was] the president, manager, all players on the pitch, everyone. Everything is just in the goalkeeper’s hands. If he does the save, everyone will be happy. I was thinking, it’s a very good feeling to be able to do this: I will be a goalkeeper.”
Bayindir also explained the close bond that exists between the goalkeepers in the club irrespective of who starts in goal. “We have good team-mates and everyone is positive every day. That’s the most important thing for us. All the goalkeepers, their character is very nice. We are always positive. Of course, we are fighting [to be] on the pitch, because everyone wants to play with the team in the stadium. But we have a good energy. It doesn’t matter who is playing, because we will, of course, support them every time. Team spirit is very important, you know? If we are doing this, we can be successful in the game, it’s very important. I think if we’re always doing that, we can always go up,” he stated.
The goalkeeper added: “We have very good communication, because we know this is very important for us. We are fighting [to be the best] in the training and when we are going outside, we are best friends. We have a very good energy because, I already said this, it’s very important. Team, spirit, soul. But everyone I think inside has a clear heart. It’s not about just goalkeepers. All players have good heart and we are fighting for this great family always. Our position is a little bit different and difficult for us. But if you are doing well, everyone is OK. We are friendly, we are always positive. Everyone wants to play. When we are going out for dinner, we are always together. It’s very good. We will continue with this feeling because we are a very big family.”
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