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Ajax linked with a move for important Manchester United first-team coach

Mitchell Van der Gaag is unlikely to leave Manchester United for Ajax Amsterdam.
Mitchell Van der Gaag is unlikely to leave Manchester United for Ajax Amsterdam. (Image- Manchester United/Getty Images)

Ajax want Mitchell van der Gaag back as their manager after sustaining a major setback in the league

According to De Telegraaf (h/t Manchester Evening News), Ajax is considering Manchester United assistant manager Mitchell van der Gaag for their vacant management role.

The No.2 at Old Trafford, Van der Gagg, collaborated with Ten Hag while he was at Ajax. This week’s links to Van der Gagg have emerged as a result of Ajax’s current managerial uncertainty following the worst start to a season in decades.

After serving as the starting centre-defender for eight different teams, including Maritimo of Portugal and the Ajax reserve team, Ten Hag promoted the former Motherwell centre-back to assistant manager at the beginning of the season.

Assistants Steve McLaren and Mitchell van der Gaag look on next to Erik ten Haag, Manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England.
Assistants Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag and manager Erik ten Hag. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ajax have one victory in six games this season and are in a dire position, currently sitting in 16th place in the Eredivisie table. They need someone who can guide them out of the relegation slump.

Erik ten Hag and Van der Gaag had never collaborated before Van der Gaag moved to Ajax in 2019. After being appointed head coach of Jong Ajax, the former was elevated to the position of first-team assistant manager in 2021, when he began to collaborate with Manchester United manager Ten Hag.

Van der Gaag, renowned for his defence-planning skills, has quickly established himself at Old Trafford.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag feels restricted while giving criticism to his squad.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Van der Gaag may be content at United right now, but he will eventually want to return to management, and the chance to lead Ajax may be too wonderful to pass up and may not come up again. It is understandable why Ajax are once again eager for Van der Gaag to join them given his qualities.

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Losing him would be a setback for Ten Hag at a time when he needs his dependable coaches on his side. On the other hand, it can present a chance for Der Gaag to become the manager of a prestigious club and this will be interesting to follow in the coming weeks.

Written by Aditya Bose

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