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Manchester United stars will feel pressure from Erik ten Hag in the final game of the dismal season

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will get his first chance to watch the club’s struggling players live as he decides who stays and who leaves

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will watch from the stands at Selhurst Park on Sunday
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will watch from the stands at Selhurst Park on Sunday

On Sunday there will be an extra incentive for Manchester United players as they travel to Crystal Palace for their final game of the season.

A game that seemed to have passed under the radar, with the title and relegation decided elsewhere, has now taken on enormous significance for the United players. New United boss Erik ten Hag will be present at Selhurst Park. The 52-year-old will see his players live for the first time since he was confirmed as the new manager at Old Trafford.

With the Champions League long over after a dismal run, the Palace game seemed little more than a game commitment to be fulfilled by United’s players before heading into the summer break and drawing a line under the club’s worst season draw in the Premier League.

But while ten Hag and assistant Mitchell van der Gaag watch from the stands, United’s players know they all have to stand trial and impress their new boss ahead of the squad’s big summer overhaul. Aside from David De Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have both had stellar seasons, no United player can feel safe from the arrival of ten Hag as the Netherlands manager is ready to shake things up to get the ailing team back on track bring to.

Ten Hag wasted no time in showing his ruthless streak, with right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, a much-touted £50m arrival from Palace three years ago, being told he can leave if the right offer is made is made for him. Other players are likely to suffer the same fate, including striker Anthony Martial, who had a dismal second half of the season on loan at Sevilla, and injury-plagued defender Phil Jones, who is likely to continue after 11 years at United.

Defender Eric Bailly could also move on and there are doubts about the future of left-back Alex Telles. Of those players looking to stay, all are under pressure to convince ten Hag of their enduring worth, none more so than current captain Harry Maguire. Whether Maguire retains the captaincy under ten Hag remains to be seen, but a bigger concern for the England defender is retaining his place after interim boss Ralf Rangnick finally did the right thing and dropped him after a dismal form he didn’t deserve its inclusion in the page.

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Erik ten Hag will get his first chance to watch Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo up close and personal as they play for Manchester United at Crystal Palace on Sunday
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(Getty Images)

Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane also need to prove their worth to ten Hag and it is telling that the former Ajax manager has already instructed United to try and bring young centre-back Jurrien Timber to Old Trafford from his former club. There must be at least one signing in midfield following the departure of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, but on Sunday Fred and Scott McTominay will get a chance to show ten Hag they deserve to be a part of his United makeover.

In attack, after ten Hag expressed his desire to work with Ronaldo, the United icon’s position is secure, but the same cannot be said for Marcus Rashford, who has endured a miserable season and is lacking in confidence, while Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho must upgrade overwhelming campaigns. Ten Hag won’t be able to get all that much out of a game but if United’s players have ever had to put in an impressive performance and end a disastrous season on a high, Sunday is the day.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/man-utd-ten-hag-assessment-27027415 Manchester United stars will feel pressure from Erik ten Hag in the final game of the dismal season

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