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Manchester United Close-In On Erik Ten Hag – Who Would The Dutchman Retain Amongst The Team’s Current Crop Of Players?

Erik ten Hag, United manager

Reports are suggesting that the Manchester United hierarchy have been “impressed” with current Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag and, are likely to further talks with the Dutchman in a bid to appoint him as the club permanent manager before next season. Manchester United’s hunt for a new permanent manager may finally draw to a close this weekend. While preliminary reports suggested current Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino as United’s favoured candidate for the role, Ten Hag’s “vision and philosophy” for United is said to have majorly contributed to his emergence as the foremost target in recent days.

Ten Hag, reportedly, held talks with United earlier this week as part of the club’s “thorough process” in interviewing potential candidates for the role. He is said to have held “positive talks” with the club. He has expressed his vision alongside enquiring about the club’s budget and plans for the future. However, while Ten Hag remains the favoured candidate, United are said to be continuing with the interviewing process, with the final decision likely to involve several factors.

The Dutchman has garnered numerous admirers amongst the United fan base and Europe as manager of Ajax. Ten Hag is likely to take an ambitious step in his managerial career over the next couple of weeks. As predicted by major punters globally like the  casinoscout If United appoint the Dutchman as the club’s new manager, it is likely many of the team’s current crop of players fail at adapting to Ten Hag’s demanding and sophisticated footballing philosophy. As a result, in this article, we take a look at players likely to unlock their potential under the Dutchman whilst also mentioning those who could potentially revive their careers under his management at the club next season. 

This article is the first of a three-part series focusing on the potential assessment of Erik Ten Has as Manchester United manager, vis-à-vis his philosophy and likelihood of bringing change to the club’s fortunes on the pitch.

Potential Retentions

1) Dean Henderson – Goalkeeper

Many expect Henderson to seek a move elsewhere in the summer. But Ten Hag’s appointment could change the fortunes of the Englishman’s career at United. David De Gea remains the indisputable first-choice keeper at the club. But the Spaniard’s questionable suitability to Ten Hag’s disciplined and demanding build-up play from defence to attack could see him starting from the bench next season.

Henderson’s lack of game-time throughout the current campaign in addition to his desire to be the national team’s first-choice keeper is likely to play a major role in his decision this summer. He already had to play second-fiddle to De Gea owing to the Spaniard’s remarkable performances. It is not likely Henderson will remain a second-choice keeper at the club next season. He has previously shown qualities suitable to Ten Hag’s requirements of his goalkeeper. It remains to be seen if the Englishman witnesses a revival of his career at the club next season.

Dean Henderson
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 26: Goalkeeper Dean Henderson (Photo by Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images)

2) Donny Van De Beek (CM/CAM)

Van De Beek was a vital part of Erik Ten Hag’s captivating Ajax squad before his move to Manchester United. He is likely to witness a revival in his career at the club provided the Dutchman is appointed as United’s manager over the coming weeks. Van De Beek has shown promising potential in his ongoing loan spell at Everton. He will be keen on being granted first-team opportunities next season.

Donny can play in numerous positions whilst adapting to disciplined roles. He emerges as a player capable of finding himself as a critical component of Ten Hag’s vision for the team in the future. The Dutch midfielder was primarily deployed as an attacking midfielder during his days at Ajax. Ten Hag could also potentially deploy him in central midfield given United’s lack of quality in the department.

Nevertheless, Donny has been amongst the club’s most underutilized talents in recent seasons. He will be hoping for redemption under his former manager next season. With several departures lined up for the summer, the Dutchman will be keen on capitalizing on the opportunity ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

Donny Van De Beek
Image obtained via

3) Paul Pogba (CM)

Paul Pogba is expected to run down his current deal whilst only willing to negotiate in the summer. United will be keen on retaining Pogba’s services for the upcoming season. The Frenchman has shown no indication of signing a new deal with the Red Devils. But reports suggest Pogba’s decision remains heavily dependent on the club’s choice for a new manager ahead of the next campaign.

His future remains up in the air. But Pogba could establish himself as a vital part of Ten Hag’s vision for the team moving forward. He can spray line-breaking passes alongside keeping possession. He can also carry the ball into dangerous areas across the final third. The Frenchman could potentially thrive in a demanding yet lenient box-to-box role under Ten Hag’s management. Moreover, with the ability to deliver match-winning performances, Pogba could certainly fulfil his potential at United next season.

However, given the Frenchman’s likelihood to move to other clubs on a free transfer in the summer, United will be preparing for his departure following the end of the current campaign. Nevertheless, provided Pogba decides to stay at United, Ten Hag is unlikely to overlook the Frenchman in his plans moving forward.

Paul Pogba
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4) Victor Lindelof (CB)

Lindelof is expected to remain at United for another season. A lack of consistent outings coupled with the possibility of losing his place to less-deserving competitors could force the Swedish centre-back into looking for other clubs in the summer. Lindelof has continued to redeem himself throughout the ongoing campaign. But questionable defensive choices have continued to impede the team’s prospects in recent weeks.

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The Swede is tailored to Ten Hag’s defensive requirements in possession and positioning on the pitch. Lindelof emerges amongst the players capable of replacing club captain Harry Maguire in the line-up next season. Uncertainty looms over this potential at cementing a first-team spot in the line-up. But Ten Hag’s arrival could boost the Dutchman’s prospects in being amongst the first names on the team sheet next season.

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