Erik Ten Hag and his staff face a massive task in turning around Manchester United’s fortunes, with issues both on and off the field at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag’s appointment is said to have elicited a lukewarm response from Manchester United’s dressing room.
On Thursday, the Dutchman was confirmed as the next manager of Manchester United after signing a three-year contract with a fourth-year option, leaving Ajax at the conclusion of the season. Ten Hag intends to bring his own coaching staff with him, as Mitchell Van der Gaag is poised to join as his no.2 despite Ajax’s best efforts to retain him in Amsterdam by offering him the chance to succeed Ten Hag.
The 52-year-old is also expected to bring in former England manager Steve McLaren, while Wayne Rooney will remain at Derby County after passing down the chance to return to Old Trafford. Ten Hag and his team face a massive task in reversing the club’s fortunes, with issues on and off the field ongoing.
Since the start of the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there has been discord in the dressing room, with numerous players not dedicated to the United cause and looking for a move away from the club. Based on their reaction to Ten Hag’s appointment, it’s evident that not much has changed since then, even despite the Norwegian’s departure and Ralf Rangnick taking over on an interim basis.
According to the Guardian, the Dutchman’s arrival has been met with a mixed reaction from the United squad, with some players ‘ambivalent and others underwhelmed.’ Mauricio Pochettino was the dressing room’s pick to take over from Rangnick, as The Mirror exclusively revealed during United’s hunt for a new manager, yet it’s tough to comprehend why Ten Hag has been seen so negatively.
The Ajax manager is a proven winner who is known for playing attractive football and developing players, which the squad should be desperate to forgive their current season. The fact that his appointment has not been received with enthusiasm sums up Ten Hag’s monumental challenge, as the dressing room is clearly beyond repair.
This supports United’s ambitions for a significant clear-out, with as many as 12 players set to leave the club during the upcoming transfer window. Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, and Lee Grant are all expected to leave as free agents, with at least six additional players joining them, including Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Alex Telles, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford. This would allow Ten Hag to begin his revamp, with Ralf Rangnick speculating on up to ten new newcomers.
Ten Hag will have a £200 million budget to work with this summer, with targets including Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Darwin Nunez, Ruben Neves, Jurrien Timber, and Antony.