New Manchester United permanent manager Erik ten Hag provides updates on the futures of three first-team players
Speaking in his first press conference since being appointed as the new permanent manager of Manchester United, as quoted by the club’s official website, Erik ten Hag provided answers on the futures of three first-team stars ahead of the new season.
With the Premier League campaign coming to a close yesterday, ten Hag will soon officially take charge of the club and begin preparations for next term. He succeeds Ralf Rangnick as the new head coach, with the German’s tenure as interim boss coming to an end in the summer.
The new manager will be reunited with his former Ajax Amsterdam star Donny van de Beek. When quizzed about whether the player has a future in Manchester, ten Hag said he was looking forward to meeting the midfielder on the pitch and that he had a good relationship with the 25-year-old.
“Yes, of course, we had a fantastic squad in that time in Ajax. I really had a good relationship with him and, of course, I’m looking forward to meeting him again on the pitch.”
van de Beek has found life at Old Trafford hard thus far, failing to get an opportunity to impress. He was sent out on loan to Everton for the second half of the current campaign, but will return to his parent club now that the season has ended.
“I talk first with Ronaldo before I talk with you”
With the Red Devils ending the season in sixth position in the Premier League table and missing out on Champions League football next term, the future of Cristiano Ronaldo has been in doubt. There were also questions raised about whether the incoming new manager would prefer to keep the 37-year-old in his new-look team.
ten Hag confirmed that he had plans to include the Portugal captain in his lineup beyond the summer, saying that he expected Ronaldo to supply the goals for the team. However, he insisted that he will first speak with the player regarding his role before any further discussions take place.
“Of course. Ronaldo? Goals! I talk first with Ronaldo before I talk with you.”
ten Hag was also quizzed about the future of club captain Harry Maguire, who has endured a season full of highs and lows, barely showing any consistency in his performances. He has failed to put his best foot forward and lead by example, committing schoolboy errors at the back to concede cheap goals.
“He’s a great player”
However, the ex-Ajax boss said that next season is a different season, and that he was looking forward to working with Maguire. The Dutch manager called the 29-year-old skipper a great player, although he refused to comment on whether he would remain as captain.
“I have to repeat that next season is a different season but I think he did a great job. He’s a great player, he’s achieved already a lot really also [with his] contribution to Manchester United. So I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Although ten Hag is expected to lead a massive squad rebuild during the summer transfer window, it seems that van de Beek, Ronaldo, and Maguire are among the stars that the new manager intends to keep at the club.
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However, he will expect all of them to give their best next season. Aside from Ronaldo, the other two players have failed to make much impact on the team this term. It remains to be seen if ten Hag is able to work his magic and help the squad rediscover their form and confidence beyond the summer.