6 things in Erik ten Hag’s in-basket as new Man Utd boss flies in to start work today

Erik ten Hag left Ajax after winning the league title and is now obliged to take up his duties as Manchester United’s new manager, with many duties awaiting him at Old Trafford

Ten Hag has terminated his Ajax contract

Erik ten Hag is on his way to Great Britain for his first day as manager of Manchester United.

The new Red Devils coach said goodbye to Ajax just yesterday and received a warm farewell after a 2-2 draw at Vitesse. Ten Hag’s team had clinched their third league title in four full seasons under his stewardship and the 51-year-old is hoping to achieve similar success with his new side.

mirror football understands Ten Hag will be flying to England on Monday and is wasting no time in starting his revolution at Old Trafford. But with interim manager Ralf Rangnick in charge until United’s final game in a miserable season at Crystal Palace on Sunday, he’ll have to be patient to get down to business. Still, there’s a lot he can do away from Carrington.

With that in mind, here are six things Ten Hag will find on his tray ahead of his first day in the UK.

1. Assemble his staff

As hard as he tries, Erik ten Hag will not fix Manchester United alone. The Dutch tactician has gained recognition for his work in the Netherlands, particularly at Ajax. But the key to his success in Amsterdam was those he surrounded himself with and worked with astute operators at all levels.

While Marc Overmars’ tenure as director of football at the Johan Cruyff Arena ended in controversy, Old Trafford boss John Murtough would do well to repeat his good work behind the scenes. And the Red Devils will also allow Ten Hag’s right-hand man at Ajax, Mitchell van der Gaag, to succeed him alongside Steve McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistant at United from 1999-2001.

But Ten Hag may not be finished there with fitness Alessandro Schoenmaker being linked with a move to Manchester. The Ajax head of performance is a trusted confidant of his and has also worked with McClaren in Newcastle and Derby County. Given Ralf Rangnick’s complaints about the squad’s lack of physicality, the addition of Schoenmaker could be a huge asset for Ten Hag.

Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant in Twente



2. Talk to Rangnick

Despite his appointment as the new head coach of the Austria national team, Rangnick has reassured Red Devils supporters that he will keep his promise to be an agent at Old Trafford for at least two years. The German made it clear what needs to change at United and made Ten Hag’s job much clearer from the outside.

However, the two have yet to sit down for a face-to-face meeting, which could easily be done within the walls of their Carrington training complex. Rangnick will no doubt have plenty to say, with topics ranging from problems in the dressing room – which recently boiled over into an alleged bust at the training ground – to boardroom difficulties.

3. Who is in and who is out

Once Rangnick has handed in his dossier and laid out the key points, Ten Hag will determine the Red Devils’ bloated squad list who stays and who goes. First up are the likes of Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani, all of whom are set to leave the club when their contracts expire next month.

Juan Mata, Lee Grant and Nemanja Matic are also expected to follow in a bid to ease the wage budget and lower the average age of the star-studded squad. But a number of contract players are unsure of their future, with goalkeepers David de Gea and Dean Henderson still struggling for long-term no.

Of course, Donny van de Beek will also return from an injury-plagued loan spell at Everton, having made his name at Ajax under Ten Hag’s tutelage. The 25-year-old will scout an opportunity to impress in pre-season as the midfield is in dire need of reinforcements this summer.

Pogba leaves Man Utd



4. The Ronaldo enigma

Speaking of the uncertain future, one man’s time as a United player is in the spotlight. Cristiano Ronaldo is still scoring at 37 and has scored 24 goals this season, but his inability to make an impact from possession will pose problems for Ten Hag in the long run.

However, mirror football also understands that the new manager is keen to keep the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for the final year of his contract as his stunning stats are impossible to ignore in a goal-shy team. Ten Hag confirmed this after his last game, explaining: “What do I have to say about that [the job] is, the detailed analysis has yet to begin, I still have to work with the team.

“But let me be clear, there are a lot of good players at United. We have to make them work as a team, but definitely Ronaldo, he’s a giant because of everything he’s shown and because of his ambition.” . Of course I want to keep it. He’s been very important to this club and has great stats to his name.”

The feeling is also mutual, as Ronaldo told his club’s website after winning the Premier League Player of the Month award in April: “What I know about him is he’s done a fantastic job for Ajax, that he is an experienced trainer. But we have to give him time. Things have to change the way he wants them to.

“Obviously I hope we succeed because if you succeed, the whole of Manchester will succeed too. I wish him the best. We are happy and excited, not only as players but also as fans.” I wish him the best and let’s believe we will win trophies next year.”

Ronaldo could be Ten Hag’s talisman

5. Transfer conversations

In order to win these Ronaldo and Desire trophies, there is no doubt that some new faces are needed in the dressing room. While their technical quality has rarely been questioned, a lack of leaders and athleticism has cost United recently, highlighting exactly where Ten Hag should be focusing.

But the man he wants to start his recruitment campaign with is Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong. Another star of his Ajax side, who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, the silky midfielder would complement the grafts Fred and Scott McTominay in the center of the pitch, although he doesn’t fit the form of England duo Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, with which the Red Devils were also associated.

Furthermore, it has been reported that Ten Hag is keen to sign a centre-back and versatile attacker, both of whom could also come from his former club. Defender Jurrien Timber and winger Antony would meet the respective requirements, while Villarreal ace Pau Torres and Benfica hotshot Darwin Nunez were also tipped for big money transfers. One thing the Red Devils hierarchy has to keep in mind is that it shouldn’t be decided who sells the most shirts.

Ten Hag wants to reunite with De Jong


(Getty Images)

Have your say! Will Ten Hag Man Utd bring back the glory days? Give us your forecast here.

6. Ticket to Selhurst Park

After six days of acclimating to his new surroundings and no doubt a series of promotional photoshoots, Ten Hag can make the journey to see United take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday. Rangnick’s side should be desperate to impress their new boss or, more importantly, give their die-hard traveling fans the send-off they deserve.

While the 20-time English champions are guaranteed the lowest total points in Premier League history, it could be the last chance for several players to shine before another seismic summer at Old Trafford.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/erik-ten-hag-man-utd-26973423 6 things in Erik ten Hag's in-basket as new Man Utd boss flies in to start work today

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