Ten hag to Man United? Red Devils on alert as Dutchman to leave Ajax at seasons end
Premier League giants Manchester United may have been presented a managerial pathway moving forward after reports have surfaced that Ajax Amsterdam manager Erik ten Hag is set to leave the Dutch footballing institution at the end of the season.
That news comes from reliable Dutch journalist Mike Verweij on the back of the club parting ways with former Dutch international icon Marc Overmars as Director of Football after he was caught sending inappropriate messages to female colleagues.
– “Erik ten Hag & Overmars were one unit together. Erik ten Hag will be gone after this season, I am quite certain of that.” [@MikeVerweij on the @telesport podcast] pic.twitter.com/RaytGwq7Ux
— (@TheEuropeanLad) February 7, 2022
According to Verweij, the breakdown of the close working relationship between Overmars and Ten Hag, which has brought much success during its time together at the Amsterdam Arena, is a direct reason why Ten Hag will now look for greener pastures come the summer.
Though speculation has long swirled around the club regarding what managerial direction they were to champion after the Ole Gunnar Solskjær regime came to an end, with Manchester United being linked to a highly-credible list of potential suitors apart from Ten Hag, which included both former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, as well as legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
But with the revelation that Ten Hag is sure to be available in the summer, the Dutch manager may have shot up to the head of the queue outside of Old Trafford.
Rangnick champions Man United’s title credentials without squad overhaul
Current Red Devils boss Ralf Rangnick has not been ideal for United this season, at least to the naked eye. But at the time of writing, the record Premier League winners are currently sitting in the top four but remain 19-points off rivals Manchester City who are looking increasingly likely to retain their league crown.
But for the German tactician, Manchester United is not far off from being able to truly challenge after stating that the club does not need a massive overhaul across the squad to re-establish their title rival credentials next season during his pre-Burnley press conference as the Red Devils look for their third win on the trot when they clash with the Clarets: “I don’t think so. Overall, the development of the team and its performances the last couple of weeks have improved.”
“There are two points of criticism that we have to face regarding the Middlesbrough defeat. One: we wasted too many clear-cut chances — we had 22 shots inside the box, 10 were massive opportunities, and we should easily have been 3-0 up at half-time. It should have been 6-1 or 6-2 by the end. And the other one is 10 seconds before we conceded, it was a perfect counter-pressing situation inside their half, we took time away from them but not the ball and eight seconds later we were outnumbered in our box. Those are the two things I fault the team with. But we invested a week into the game plan and many of the things we worked on were shown against Middlesbrough.”
While the shock result against Middlesbrough came with the expected and justified blowback, the reality that no Premier League club has spent more money than Manchester United across the last decade and yet have not performed consistently under multiple managers despite the level of talent on paper the club can call upon certainly lends weight to the argument that more spending may not be the answer.
Perhaps all that is needed is the right man on the touchline of the Theatre of Dreams. Regardless of where you stand, the impending summer decision regarding who is meant to take the club forward on the pitch is vital.