Erik ten Hag, the prospective manager of Manchester United, faces a massive challenge.
The Dutchman, who has improved Ajax’s fortunes since taking over at the Johan Cruyff Arena in December 2017, is one of the frontrunners to take over at Old Trafford ahead of the start of the next season and lead the club’s next chapter. According to the Manchester Evening News, he is United’s preferred choice for the position, and they are big fans of his managerial credentials.
Ten Hag has supervised a fantastic job at Ajax over the last two years, bringing the club back on the map after a few years of failures both domestically and in Europe. His ability to persuade his players to play a nice style of football while also instilling a lot of trust in young people is what has made him so successful.
Although Ten Hag, if hired as United’s next manager, will face a number of severe hurdles in his efforts to return the club to where it belongs, he may be able to oversee a long-term project that United has been pining for if patience is granted. Big changes are needed in the squad this summer, and the Dutchman may be the appropriate man to supervise those changes, not least the introduction of several young players to the first-team fold.
However, Ten Hag’s methods could assist more than simply young players; experienced players who have lost their way could also profit from his presence. Having said that, MEN Sport has taken a detailed look at three players who could profit from Ajax’s appointment as Ralf Rangnick’s replacement.
Donny van de Beek
Doesn’t it seem self-evident? Ten Hag taking over, on the other hand, could be Donny van de Beek’s last chance to rescue his United career.
His time at Old Trafford has not gone as planned, as evidenced by his January loan move to Everton, and he has struggled to live up to the expectations that greeted his arrival from Ajax in 2020. He prospered, though, under Ten Hag’s direction, playing in a recognized system that suited him and allowed him to produce the goods, at least in an attacking sense.
After all, United must have recognized something special in Van de Beek under Ten Hag to pay over £40 million for his services. English football is, without a doubt, quite different from Dutch football, but Van de Beek may be resurrected under a manager with whom he is familiar and has a good relationship.
There are no guarantees that the midfielder will finally heat up his Old Trafford career, but Ten Hag may be the guy who allows him to threaten to do so. If he can pull a tune out of him, he’ll be like a new signing for Manchester United.
“I agree that young players should be given a shot in the first team, but they must earn it. They must demonstrate that they are better than the present players or have the potential to be better.”
Those were the comments that came out of Ten Hag’s mouth in 2019 when he was discussing his use of young players at Ajax. He has advocated for internal promotion and the development of young players such as Ryan Gravenberch and Frenkie de Jong, to mention a few.
Young, intriguing potential is growing up all over Manchester United, not least in the form of James Garner, who is presently on loan at Nottingham Forest. He has impressed in the Championship this season with Steve Cooper’s side and hopes to be a familiar presence in the first-team group at Old Trafford next season.
Garner will be optimistic about his chances of breaking into the United first team this summer, given the club’s acute need for midfield reinforcements. His potential is enormous, and his abilities have been on display throughout the season at Forest. At only 21, he is a rising star who could prosper under Ten Hag’s leadership.
Anthony Elanga’s rise has been one of Rangnick’s biggest pluses during his tenure. Prior to the arrival of the German, he was not even on the radar of many United fans, but he is now a first-team regular.
Elanga, who possesses pace, trickery, and an eye for goal, has immense potential to excite Old Trafford fans for years to come, despite the fact that he is far from finished. While Rangnick deserves credit for the manner he has nurtured the Swede in recent months, you believe Ten Hag can assist him get to the next level.
Creative players like Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic, and Antony have prospered under Ten Hag in the past, as have a slew of youngsters, providing hope that Elanga will follow in their footsteps. He is a tremendously exciting talent who has already shown flashes of what he could become in the future.
With Ten Hag’s track record and individual talent, Elanga could reach new heights under the Dutchman. His potential, like that of so many other young players at Old Trafford, is terrifying.