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First deal completed as five other Ajax stars pleads with Erik ten Hag to take him to Man Utd as he teases transfer

Brian Brobbey has scored some crucial goals since rejoining Ajax on loan under Erik ten Hag, and he was speaking ahead of the Dutch manager’s move to Manchester United.

Ajax striker Brian Brobbey begged Erik ten Hag to take him to Manchester United, only to turn around and laugh, insisting he was joking.

Ten Hag has been confirmed as Manchester United’s next permanent manager, although he has stated that he would focus on his Ajax duties before taking over at the Premier League club. The first of these came on Saturday in Nijmegen, when Ajax needed a late Brobbey goal to overcome NEC’s resistance and stay on track for the title.

Ten Hag gave the young striker his debut as a youngster, scoring in a cameo off the bench against Fortuna Sittard in 2020. At the end of that breakthrough season, he moved to RB Leipzig but has since returned to Amsterdam on loan.

After his late goal, Ajax’s match-winner spoke to the press and was asked about Ten Hag’s transfer. It was Ajax’s first game since the manager’s next move had been disclosed, and the 20-year-old was plainly happy for his master.

“I’m overjoyed for him, and he truly deserves it after everything he’s done for Ajax,” Brobbey added. “If only he would bring me with him in two years…. oh, no, joking!”

Brobbey’s fourth goal since his loan return. He scored twice in a 3-0 win over Ten Hag’s previous side Utrecht in January, and he also scored in a win over PSV Eindhoven a week later, which might help decide the title.

“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these fantastic years, and I can assure our fans of my total devotion and focus on bringing this season to a triumphant conclusion before I move to Manchester United,” Ten Hag stated after Man Utd announced his signing. The 52-year-old led Ajax to the 2020-21 Eredivisie title and is on track to win the competition for the third time.

Ajax worked hard against NEC, a team they had beaten 5-0 on the opening weekend of the season. Dusan Tadic had a penalty saved by Mattijs Branderhorst in the first half, and it looked like it would be a difficult afternoon until half-time substitute Brobbey came up huge with two minutes remaining.

Later in the day, championship rivals PSV suffered a 1-0 defeat away at Cambuur. However, goals from Eran Zahavi and Mario Gotze shifted the game back in favor of the visitors.

“What I like about the team is that they’ve stayed calm,” Ten Hag said after the game, according to the Ajax website. “It didn’t get too frantic. After that, you score the goal.”

“I could have gone with [Mohamed] Ihattaren or [Mohamed] Daramy as a winger [in place of the injured Steven Berghuis], but I wanted to score goals. That’s why I went with Brian.”

With four games remaining, Ajax leads PSV by four points. Ten Hag’s side will play PEC Zwolle at home on April 30, with PSV visiting basement side Willem II the following day.

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