‘He’s exceptional’ – Pep Guardiola heaps praise on struggling Manchester United star ahead of Manchester derby

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has described Manchester United goalie Andre Onana as exceptional despite his struggles at Old Trafford.

The Cameroonian has endured a difficult start since joining the club from Inter Milan. He has been guilty of high-profile errors in games.

Despite there being widespread criticism of Onana recently, City manager Guardiola singled him out for praise during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Manchester derby.

“I remember we have a common friend who spoke very highly of him but personally I met him in Amsterdam. He’s an exceptional player and now at United,” said Guardiola.

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

“Hopefully not,” replied Guardiola when asked if he thinks United’s no.24 will have a similar performance.

“Hopefully we can beat him, but before the game, I always expect the best of the players we are going to face.

“I prefer to see the strengths than the weaknesses they have. He saved a pen in the last minute which helped them to stay in contention to qualify for the last 16 [of the Champions League]. Mentally it’s a good boost for them.”