Erik ten Hag implemented his own plan for Man United in the summer transfer market despite being advised to be ‘brutal’. New Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag ignored the transfer advice of Gary Neville and Ralf Rangnick during his first summer at the club. The Dutchman kicked off the new era with the signings of Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Antony and Martin Dubravka, while also managing to cut some of the deadwood from his inherited squad. Ahead of the summer rebuild, it was the outgoings which concerned United legend Gary Neville.
The former right-back called for Ten Hag to be “really brutal” and undertake a “massive change” of his playing squad. He said if Erik ten Hag is going to be really brutal like Jurgen Klopp was when he first went into Liverpool and got rid of Christian Benteke or when Joe Hart was let go by Pep Guardiola, he’s going to be letting a lot of this lot go.
According to him because they can’t press high up the pitch, they haven’t got the physicality, they don’t want to win the ball back early, they don’t chase down and hunt together. He added that he thinks there’s going to be a massive, massive change and obviously five or six of them are going anyway because they are out of contract but he can see even more being let go.
Rangnick also suggested Ten Hag needed to undertake “open heart” surgery to his squad as he said it’s not enough to do some minor amendments – cosmetic things, adding that in medicine you would say that this is an operation of the open heart. Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic all left when their contracts expired while Andreas Pereira, Tahith Chong and James Garner were sold – but it was not the mass cull that both Neville and Ragnick predicted.
In reality Ten Hag stuck to his guns after announcing he would “work with” United’s faltering superstars rather than look to force them out of the Old Trafford exit door during his first press conference as the club’s new manager.