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With Erik ten Hag at the Helm, Here are Three Core Issues for him to Address Immediately Next Season

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United

Manchester United have officially announced Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager. He will take over the club from next season, having signed a contract till June 2025 with an option to extend his stay by one more year. The Dutchman comes on the back of taking Ajax to exceptional heights in football.

Ajax have won two Eredivisie titles under Ten Hag, 2018-19 and 2020-21. They are currently on their way to winning back-to-back league titles, being at the top of the Eredivisie table with a lead of 4 pts over PSV Eindhoven. An even bigger feat was taking the Dutch side to the Champions League semi-final in the 2018-19 season, by beating Real Madrid and Juventus in the R16 and quarter-finals respectively.

Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United
Image Obtained via Hotspur HQ

The Red Devils find themselves plodded in knee-deep trouble as the club seem to be plagued with a myriad of problems. They have had an abysmal campaign this season, that too after bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho last summer. The recent defeat to Liverpool at Anfield could also be said to be a cherry on the cake, given the club are displaying attributes of decline. Their recent form, along with underwhelming performances day-by-day has altogether contributed to their plight.

One of the reigning clubs in England has now gone to ruins. And since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, no manager so far has been able to restore it with their magic. Manchester United brought in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – who seemed utmost perfect to pick up the pieces.

However, his tenure at the Old Trafford came to an end due to consecutive disappointing performances against arch-rivals. Following Ole’s exit, United appointed Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager, given it did not seem ideal to appoint a permanent manager immediately.

Erik Ten Hag at Ajax, Manchester United, Ten Hag
Image obtained via Twitter/@FabrizioRomano

The Ajax manager is best known for shaping youngsters to play better football. He will also play attacking football, unlike Jose Mourinho’s pragmatic style of approach when being at Old Trafford. It will be refreshing to see the United squad all bolstered up during the start of the new season. But before that, Erik ten Hag would need to address three core issues while being at the helm at Manchester United.

A. Clear Out And Declutter The Team

The first and most important thing Erik ten Hag will have to address is getting rid of a few players. Manchester United should set a price tag for players like Donny van de Beek as well as goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who seems good with the ball but has not got chances to play regularly. Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, and Nemanja Matic are all set to leave Old Trafford as free agents.

Paul Pogba
Image obtained via The Sun

Paul Pogba, who is in the final months of his contract should bid adieu to the club to make way for new, younger talent. As per reports from Daily Mail, Juventus were set to re-sign Pogba on a free transfer. However, the deal was taken off the table as the Italian side were only able to offer the Frenchman a deal of half his current wage. There are certainly other players who would be fruitful additions to the team, given the club is in complete disarray at the moment.

B. Get In Reinforcements – Sign New Players

Secondly, it is of utmost importance for Erik ten Hag to sign the right players for Manchester United. The signings should be best fitted for the team, who can then showcase their abilities well on the field. The signings should be effective as well as give the club a run for their money.

However, impressive play and heavy prices for a particular player are sometimes all chalk and cheese i.e., different. The best-case scenario is Harry Maguire. Thus, such players should see themselves out and play for another club – given the defender has been pretty unimpressive this season.

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C. Start From Scratch And Rebuild

Last but not the least, it would be necessary for Ten Hag to structure the club altogether – from top to bottom. Either entirely rebuild the club or look over areas that need improvement. He should also be given a veto power to decide whom to sign and whom not to, along with the power to make the call on which players to get rid of.

The board of Manchester United should agree to the policy wanted by Erik ten Hag and his way of working. A green signal from the top management will make it feasible for the Ajax coach to work smoothly and efficiently, thereby helping the Red Devils skyrocket towards the heights of sporting glory.

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