New boss Erik ten Hag makes early request from Manchester United after FA Youth Cup win

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wants to take a closer look at the youngsters, who have won the club’s first FA Youth Cup in over a decade, as he charts plans for that squad

Alejandro Garnacho (right) celebrates after scoring Manchester United's second goal of the game from the penalty spot against Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup Final
Alejandro Garnacho (right) celebrates after scoring Manchester United’s second goal in their 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Youth Cup Final

Erik ten Hag will turn to the video to take the reigns of some of Manchester United’s future stars.

The meticulous Dutchman will make United send him a record of the club’s youth team’s FA Cup win this week, first reported in the Daily Star, so he can study those who may have impressed him. The new United boss is keen to get a look at some of United’s best talent ahead of his arrival at Old Trafford in June.

United’s Under-18 side beat their Nottingham Forest counterparts 3-1 in front of nearly 70,000 fans at Old Trafford on Wednesday night to win the FA Youth Cup for the first time since 2011.

Ten Hag was unable to witness the triumph as he led Ajax to their 36th Dutch title in his final act. But Ten Hag will sit down to watch a video of the action in Manchester to see if there are some members of the squad he can promote in the future. These could include captain Rhys Bennett, Kobbie Mainoo, Charlie McNeill and Alejandro Garnacho, who scored twice in the second half to seal United’s victory.

Ten Hag has earned a reputation for nurturing youth at Ajax in a bid to turn them back into a force in Europe. He has worked with players such as current United midfielder Donny Van de Beek alongside Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, while more recently he has mentored rising stars such as Lisandro Martinez, Antony and David Neres.

It’s one of the reasons why United bosses have turned to him in hopes that he can rebuild a broken United side and make the club successful again. Ten Hag will assess his new squad upon his arrival in Manchester next month and is expected to make some significant signings this summer.

But he’s also keen to develop some of the young talent the club already has after telling United CEO Richard Arnold he can’t spend his way to the top.

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Erik ten Hag was unable to follow Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup success because he was busy overseeing Ajax’s title win


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United’s youngsters basked in the glory of the win, which cheered the club’s fan base after a miserable season at senior level. “It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” captain Bennett told the United website when asked about winning the competition. “It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, ever since I started at this club, it’s all I’ve ever dreamed of. Winning the FA Youth Cup is just a massive achievement.”

United defender Sam Murray said: “Speechless to be fair it’s magic. “Nothing can describe the feeling, 3-1 at the end, that’s what you dream of. Words can’t really describe how it feels. I watched YouTube videos [of people playing at a full Old Trafford] as a kid and you don’t even know if it’s going to happen.

“We all made it tonight and I’m incredibly proud of everyone. Doing it with the guys you grew up with is very special.”

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