Five potential signings Ten Hag could bring to Manchester United to transform their fortunes
Manchester United are seemingly ready to embark on their latest managerial experiment, with current Ajax boss Erik ten Hag widely expected to put pen to paper in the coming days.
It’s clear to see that something is fundamentally out of kilter at the Theatre of Dreams these days and the new boss will have his work cut out if he’s going to turn around this oil tanker of a project. The challenge will certainly not faze this mild-mannered coach though. A disciple of Pep Guardiola, he dragged the storied Amsterdam club to within a minute of the Champions League Final in 2019, but what personnel can he bring in to really put his stamp on this post?
He’s already got one familiar face on the books at Old Trafford, current Everton loanee Donny van de Beek, who should become a success story if he’s deployed in the right fashion. United are certainly on the precipice of a giant rebuild and ten Hag’s transfer targets for the summer will go a long way towards defining his success or failure in the North West.
So who should he be targeting for this United rebuild and will he be raiding his old employers? Let’s take a look.
A prodigiously talented (they mostly are on this list) centre back or right back who’s strong in the tackle and comfortable on the ball. Is he an upgrade on Maguire and Varane? Hard to say really, given the aforementioned players’ seeming lack of form, but ten Hag’s meticulous eye for coaching details could also help him get the best out of his current squad.
This one would certainly be last gasp territory as the 19-year-old midfielder is reportedly on the very edge of agreeing a deal to join Bayern Munich this summer. However, if United think ten Hag’s their man, they should be pulling out lots, if not quite all of, the stops to put the brakes on this deal and bring this young man to Old Trafford. A midfield of Gravenberch and van de Beek playing ten Hag football would offer more attacking verve than they currently possess.
Fresh from netting the winner in the Dutch Cup Final against ten Hag’s Ajax on Sunday, Gakpo has been attracting interest from around Europe after some stellar performances in a PSV jersey this season. All-action pace and precision dribbling make him a menacing threat to opposition defences.
Another outstanding young English talent who eschewed the Under-23s Academy game and headed for the continent for the rewards of first team football. North London-born Madueke reportedly rejected the chance to sign for United when leaving for PSV in 2019 but could now be in a position to make an impact for the First XI.
A cheap option (out of contract) to provide cover for Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right back. Another who knows intimately how ten Hag operates and who could hit the ground running as the new man implements his way of playing. United would need to move quickly again for this one though, as he’s reportedly also close to a Bayern Munich move.
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