ten Hag ‘shocked’ that defensive star may not join Man United due to World Cup reason

Erik ten Hag upstaged by Louis van Gaal as Jurrien Timber look set to reject Manchester United

According to the Mirror (h/t The Express), Erik ten Hag appears frustrated and ‘shocked’ that Jurrien Timber may choose against joining Manchester United this summer.

The Netherlands international is one of the best young defenders on the continent and is a key player for Ajax Amsterdam. ten Hag was keen for the 21-year-old to follow him to Old Trafford but has run into opposition from Dutch national team boss, Louis van Gaal.

The former Man United manager has no love lost for the club following his sacking in 2016. He now appears to have helped Timber make up his mind regarding a summer switch to the Theatre of Dreams.

Erik ten Hag upstaged by Louis van Gaal as Jurrien Timber look set to reject Manchester United.
The ghost of Christmas past?

With the FIFA World Cup just months away, the first half of the 2022/23 football season will act as an audition of sorts where players can make a case for their inclusion in the showpiece event. Van Gaal is no different and has declared that he will pick his players based on merit.

The Dutchman is keen to select players who perform regularly for their clubs and expressed his doubts regarding Timber’s chances if he moved to Old Trafford. Georginio Wijnaldum suffered a similar fate after he was dropped recently following his struggles at Paris Saint-Germain.

The midfielder was a regular in years gone by and the fact that his reputation did little to save him speaks volumes about Van Gaal’s approach. Timber can be assured that he too will be held to similar standards.

Erik ten Hag upstaged by Louis van Gaal as Jurrien Timber look set to reject Manchester United.
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looking to end the successful eras of rivals Manchester City and Liverpool. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

With Timber now set to remain at Ajax, it proves to be a difficult start to life for ten Hag at Man United. The Dutchman has been left stunned by the youngster’s decision, which is rooted in his desire to make Netherlands’ World Cup squad this year and will now have to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.

The Red Devils are not the tour de force they once were and also cannot offer players UEFA Champions League football next season. This could prove to be a major hindrance in their efforts to land top talents from across Europe.

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The Red Devils are yet to make a major signing and will need to act first. Unless we act decisively and quickly, Timber will be just the first domino to fall. A difficult summer awaits us if we continue to show the same incompetency that has hampered us over the last few years.