Erik ten Hag reveals Manchester United are looking for a holding midfielder
Speaking in an interview as quoted by ESPN, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag admitted that the club was looking at signing a holding midfielder when asked about the interest in Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
Man United’s interest in Frenkie de Jong has been prevalent throughout the summer and despite talks between both clubs, it feels like a move for the Dutchman has hit a roadblock. It is still not clear as to what alternatives the Red Devils have in mind.
Man United have kickstarted their transfer window by signing Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez in quick succession but it’s evident that they will not be stopping here. We still need to reinforce our midfield.
The midfield has been an area of concern for the Red Devils for quite some time now with the players that we have had manning that area not of the quality expected from a club of our stature or not performing to their potential.
Except for Bruno Fernandes, who has been sensational, there is no other truly exceptional midfielder in the Man United squad at least based on past performances. Donny van de Beek was touted to become one but his Red Devils career is yet to kick off.
Fred was another player from whom big things were expected when we signed him and he does have the quality but his performances are rather inconsistent. Scott McTominay is another decent option, but he has his limitations.
Hence, when quizzed about Frenkie de Jong and what is next in the transfer window, ten Hag admitted that a holding midfielder is a necessity but if they fail to land one, he might have to develop the existing players to occupy that position.
“We are looking for a player who can play in the holding midfield position, but it has to be the right one. There are not many in that position capable of the level we demand. When we can’t find him, we have to deal with the players in our squad now and we will develop one in that position.”
After listening to Ten Hag speak, it is pretty evident why he is so keen on signing Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona. However, it does not seem like the 25-year-old wants to make the switch to Old Trafford this summer.
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Man United might be forced to look at other options. If not, as he himself said, ten Hag will have a job in his hands to develop one of the existing players to occupy the holding role.