Turkish goalkeeper Altay Bayindir is yet to make his official debut for Manchester United after creating some personal history with his move to Old Trafford. He is the first player from Turkey to have signed for the Red Devils, but has not been able to make an appearance for them so far.
That is because Andre Onana has had complete control of the no.1 role at Old Trafford since being roped in as David de Gea’s replacement. Even though the Cameroon international has made the occasional error that has cost Erik ten Hag’s side, he is yet to be benched and even played both their matches at the Carabao Cup.
Bayindir is perhaps unlucky not to get a single appearance so far, maybe because of Ten Hag’s preferential treatment of Onana – who has worked with him since the Ajax days. However, the Turkey international is still quite hopeful of eventually getting his opportunities and will look to capitalize on them to earn more starts going forward.
The Turkish star sat down for an interview with Man United’s official media team and was asked about which former goalkeeper of the Red Devils he admires most. He replied: “My favourite goalkeeper for Manchester United when I was younger, I watched a lot of games of Manchester United, and my favourite goalkeeper, I say this and Edwin van der Sar is a legend, I know him.”
This praise from Bayindir caught the attention of the ex-Dutch goalkeeper. But rather than thanking him for the big praises, Van der Sar had a rather strange reply to Bayindir and wrote on Instagram: “Hi Altay, will see you soon in Manchester and we will have a chat about goalkeeping but my favourite is still Andre as you will know!”
This normally comes off as a rather cold response from the United legend, especially with the bit about Onana being his favourite. Of course, Van der Sar shares some special history with the Cameroon goalkeeper, because he was the one to bring him to Ajax after being promoted to the club’s CEO in 2016.
The two share a close bond because Van der Sar helped shape Onana into a quality goalkeeper with his tips. However, a lot of fans are actually annoyed with Van der Sar’s tone and find the way he delivered the response to be a bit disrespectful.
A lot of supporters are particularly unimpressed with the bit about Onana because it creates a needless sense of competitiveness among the goalkeepers. With that being said, it’s highly unlikely that Van der Sar wanted to be purposefully offensive or disrespect the Turkey goalkeeper with his comments.
His response is actually something that is typical of a Dutch person. The Netherlands’ footballers are well known for being quite direct with their comments and not knowing how to mince their words.
There’s even a Dutch word for it – Bespreekbaarheid. It means “speakability”. It refers to the Dutch tendency to be straightforward and open, and to value open dialogue and transparency.
They are a bit too honest for their own good, and Van der Sar isn’t the only one to have struggled for that.
Erik ten Hag has himself gotten himself in hot water at times because of how blatantly honest he has been in the last few years. For one, he did not think twice before revealing Jadon Sancho did not perform well in training before the loss to Arsenal earlier this season.
Just after that, the Englishman bit back with his Twitter post and kick-started a beef between the two that is yet to be resolved.
Van der Sar is unlikely to have really offended Bayindir with his comments, but the ex-Ajax CEO might be in need of some more social media training when it comes to making comments on a public platform.