After having placed David De Gea as the club number one for 12 seasons, 2023-2024 will mark the beginning of a new era for the number 1 shirt at Old Trafford.
United have already signed Andre Onana from Italian side Serie A and it’s expected that he’ll be the successor to De Gea in goal. Despite him taking that mantle, he will be adorning the number 24 on the back of his jersey as that’s a number that he has worn for the vast majority of his professional career.
But who is likely to be competing with Onana for the goalkeeper spot? It’s expected that Dean Henderson will leave the club in the summer, with Nottingham Forest the most likely destination, and not many would be confident if Tom Heaton would be a long term backup to Onana.
Enter Justin Bijlow – the Netherlands number one who plays for Dutch giants Feyenoord.
Speaking to FR12, a Feyenoord fans news website, Bijlow claims that Erik Ten Hag’s side have made contact over his availability but haven’t made a formal offer for him yet.
Bijlow said, “I don’t want to talk about it too much, it’s just quiet now.
“There was just contact. Manchester United have not made an offer to Feyenoord, but what I say: I don’t want to talk about it out of respect for Feyenoord.
“I want to achieve the highest achievable in my career. When that is, we will see for ourselves. Another year at Feyenoord, that’s never bad.”
From his comments, the shotstopper seems to indicate that he wants to play at a higher level than the Eredivisie but doesn’t want to spell it out in so many words out of respect for the club that he’s spent his entire professional career at.
Whether United follow up their interest in Bijlow now remains to be seen. The club have been linked with Japanese ‘keeper Zion Suzuki, who could be positioned to be a longer term investment in that position. And whether Bijlow would be willing to compete with or play second fiddle to Onana, brought in at huge expense, is not quite clear.
From the players comments, it’s clear that the links to the club were not just paper talk connecting Ten Hag to another player from the Netherlands and there was some concrete interest from the club. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the transfer window unfolds to see if another Dutch import will be coming in to compete for a place between the sticks.