Sofyan Amrabat has already highlighted Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag’s coaching credentials during their time at FC Utrecht
Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat praised Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag earlier this year, whom he previously played under at FC Utrecht several years ago.
United recently concluded their pre-season tour of the United States with a 3-2 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in Las Vegas last week.
They are now considering the possibility of signing African honcho Amrabat, provided they have sufficient funds in their summer budget after player sales.
Amrabat’s contract with his parent club is set to expire in less than a year, making him potentially available for a discounted deal during the ongoing transfer window.
Ten Hag’s side could greatly benefit from acquiring a defensive midfielder to compete with Casemiro and offer depth in the No. 6 position. Last season, the Reds faced difficulties when the Brazilian player was unavailable, as they lacked a suitable backup option with a similar skill set.
Amrabat, who played a crucial role in Morocco’s impressive journey to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar last year, excels at regaining possession for his team, making crucial tackles, and controlling play from a deep-lying midfield position.
The 26-year-old has a previous connection with Ten Hag. They worked together during the manager’s tenure at Utrecht from 2015 to 2017.
The talented midfielder has spoken highly about the Dutch boss’ coaching style in the past. As quoted by The Athletic [subscription required] (h/t the Manchester Evening News), he said in March this year:
“He made a plan for me. He asked me about my strong points and what I wanted to improve. From the first day, he was busy with me. Not only me, all the players.”
“A lot of coaches are busy in general with the team but he put a lot of time into individual work because he knew if the individual was better the team would be better. After every game, he would take me through a video and explain everything to me.”
“I was 18 or 19 years old, so sometimes I was thinking, ‘Oof, again?’ But now, when I look back, I know it was so important for my career. I learned such a lot from him.”
The comments have regained their relevance this summer due to United’s serious interest in the player. Amrabat, who was a young player at the time, had an impressive stint at Utrecht, making 54 appearances, with 50 of them under the guidance of Ten Hag.
The Dutch manager holds good knowledge of the midfielder’s abilities, having witnessed firsthand what he can bring to Old Trafford. During their time together, the gaffer managed to extract ten assists and one goal from Amrabat, a feat unmatched by any other manager.
Given their history, it comes as no surprise that Amrabat holds Ten Hag in high regard. The manager has gained huge fan attention due to his ability to work closely with individual players.
This helped United change their style of play and get better results on the pitch last season. With a previous working relationship between Ten Hag and the midfielder, it is logical for United to pursue the Moroccan star.
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In our opinion, the experienced midfielder has developed a lot since his early days at Utrecht, and he could get a chance to show his improved version at Old Trafford next season. This can be the pedestal he needs to truly enhance his reputation. As for Man United, they can add the right balance to their midfield by adding a defence-minded, rugged defensive midfielder.