The task before of potential Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is tremendous.
The Dutchman, who has turned around 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 next season’s start and write 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 done a tremendous job at Ajax in recent years, both domestically and in Europe, putting the club back on the map after a few years of failures. What has made him so successful is his ability to encourage his players to play a great style of football while also instilling huge levels of trust in young people.
Although Ten Hag, if hired as United’s next manager, will face a number of challenging hurdles in his quest to get the club back to where it wants to be, he may be able to oversee a long-term project that the club has yearned for if given patience. This summer, the squad will undergo significant changes, and the Dutchman could be the best guy to handle them, not least the entrance of several young players to the first-team fold.
Ten Hag’s methods may benefit not only young players; they may also aid experienced players who have lost their way. With that in mind, MEN Sport has examined three players who could profit from the Ajax boss’s appointment as Ralf Rangnick’s successor.
Donny van de Beek
Doesn’t it seem self-evident? Ten Hag’s appointment, 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 according to plan, as evidenced by his January loan move to Everton, and he has struggled to live up to the enormous expectations that greeted his arrival from Ajax in 2020. Ten Hag’s management, on the other hand, saw him thrive, as he was able to play in a system that suited him and allowed him to provide the goods, at least in an attacking sense.
After all, United must have recognized something special in Van de Beek to pay nearly £40 million for his services under Ten Hag. 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 with whom he has a good relationship.
There are no promises that the midfielder’s Old Trafford career will eventually heat up, but Ten Hag could be the guy who allows him to threaten to do so. He’ll be like a new signing for United if he can pull a tune out of him.
“I agree that young players should be given a shot in the first team, but they must first earn it. They must demonstrate that they are either better than or have the potential to be better than the existing players.”
When Ten Hag was asked about his use of young players at Ajax in 2019, those were the words that came out of his mouth. He’s a huge believer in promoting from within and nurturing young players like Ryan Gravenberch and Frenkie de Jong, to name a couple.
Young, intriguing prospects are growing up all over the place at United, not least in the form of James Garner, who is presently on loan at Nottingham Forest. This season, he has been a standout performer in the Championship for Steve Cooper’s side, and he hopes to be a regular in the first-team squad at Old Trafford next season.
Garner will be optimistic about his chances of breaking into United’s first team this summer, given the club’s acute need for midfield reinforcements. His potential is limitless, and his abilities have been on display at Forest all season. He’s only 21, but he’s already a rising star who may flourish under Ten Hag’s guidance.
The rise of Anthony Elanga has been one of the most positive aspects of Rangnick’s premiership. Prior to his arrival, the German had not even crossed many United fans’ minds, but he is now a first-team regular.
Elanga, who possesses speed, skill, and a goal-scoring eye, has huge potential to excite Old Trafford fans for years to come, despite the fact that he is still far from being the polished article. While Rangnick deserves credit for the manner he has cultivated the Swede in recent months, you believe Ten Hag can assist him progress.
Ten Hag has produced a slew of talented players in the past, including Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic, and Antony, as well as a slew of promising talents, providing hope that Elanga can follow in their footsteps. He’s an incredibly interesting player who has already showed hints of what he could become in the future.
With Ten Hag’s track record and unique talent, Elanga might be catapulted to new heights under his tutelage. Like so many other young players at Old Trafford, his potential is frightening.