Erik ten Hag appears to be the frontrunner in the contest to become Manchester United’s next manager. Over the last five years, the Dutchman has worked wonders at Ajax, earning two league titles. And trophies are exactly what the Red Devils require, with their most recent success coming in 2017.
Late Tuesday night, it was revealed that United had held conversations with Ten Hag in order to plan for a brighter future.
It’s been a humbling season thus far, with the Red Devils out of contention in the Premier League and failing to win any of the Carabao Cup, FA Cup, or Champions League trophies.
In the summer, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had significant transfer backing, with John Murtough and Ed Woodward securing agreements for Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, they are still a long way behind when it comes to claiming titles, which is why the Red Devils’ board is now looking at Ten Hag.
He’s had a lot of success during his tenure at Ajax. Two Eredivisie titles have been won, and a third may be on the way, and he has re-established them as a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League.
United admires Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui, and Luis Enrique, who are currently in charge of PSG, Sevilla, and the Spanish national team, respectively.
Ten Hag, on the other hand, is in a strong position to take control.
According to sources, United wants a former player to be his No. 2 because he is capable of uniting their fragmented dressing room.
Rio Ferdinand is reportedly interested in the position, but club executives are skeptical that the six-time Premier League champion is suited to the challenge.
And Robin van Persie is yet another.
Van Persie, like Ferdinand, is said to want to return to United as a coach after spending three years as a player there.
While the United board’s intentions are good, Ten Hag has already planned the first adjustment he’d make at Old Trafford.
The Daily Mail reported at the beginning of the month that the Dutchman planned to bring compatriot Mitchel van der Gaag with him to England.
Van der Gang previously played for PSV Eindhoven, Motherwell, Utrecht, and Maritime before joining Ten Hag’s team in Amsterdam.
He has also coached at FC Eindhoven, NAC, Ermis, and Excelsior.
He’s also won a trophy as a manager, having led Belenenses to the Segunda Liga triumph in 2013.
If van der Gaag joins United, he will most likely replace Chris Armas, who has been Ralf Rangnick’s assistant throughout their time at Old Trafford.
It will mean another new coach for the players to get used to.
But, with the board seeming increasingly likely to offer Ten Hag the job, the coaching staff will have to accept that.
Earlier in the season, Ferdinand expressed his conviction that the Ajax manager would be a suitable match for his old club.
“I don’t know Ten Hag personally, but he’s doing an excellent job at Ajax.” “Let’s not forget that Ajax is not a little club,” he remarked.
“They’re a huge club, the biggest in Holland.”
“Yes, it’s different, and the landscape is different, but it’s still a major club with which he has to work every day, and the expectation levels there are to win.”
“That is something that would be present every day and would be present if he came to Manchester United.”
“Anyone that comes in must be able to interact with people.”
“That is the art of a great manager.”
“Obviously, you have to get it tactically correct, but encouraging people on a daily basis to provide the goods is a significant part of it.”