Erik ten Hag calls £55m Manchester United summer signing a market ‘opportunity’

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag  explained the reason behind signing Mason Mount during the summer transfer window

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag elucidated the reason for signing Mason Mount during the summer transfer window. United signed Mount from their Premier League rivals Chelsea which took a big part of Ten Hag’s transfer budget.

Consequently, the 53-year-old resorted to loan deals during the deadline day to comply with the Financial Fair Play rules. The transfer ended Mount’s 18-year association with Chelsea after he worked his way through their academy to the senior team.

The 24-year-old won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup for the London club. Chelsea attempted to tie down Mount with a contract but the player rejected offers, opting to join United eventually.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Carlton Morris of Luton Town is challenged by Mason Mount of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Luton Town at Old Trafford on November 11, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
On-form Manchester United star Scott McTominay is above Mason Mount in the pecking order. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ten Hag prioritized the signing of Mount during the summer to bolster the midfield with his energy and creativity. However, the England international has failed to make a positive impact in his debut season for the Red Devils.

Speaking to the United We Stand fanzine (h/t The Athletic), Ten Hag provided the reason behind signing Mount during the summer. He said:

“For me, Mount was one of the most attractive young players in the Premier League going out of contract with one year left. It was a great opportunity for us to sign a very good 24-year-old player”

Ten Hag has deployed Mount in a deeper role in midfield contrary to the attacking role he played at Chelsea. The 24-year-old played 195 games for Chelsea, contributing 33 goals and 37 assists during his tenure at the club.

Nevertheless, the England international has failed to be as creative and lethal in front of the goals so far. An injury has currently sidelined Mount, who fell down the pecking order before the November international break.

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Mount needs time and patience which is a scarce commodity in a club of United’s stature. The 24-year-old has taken the iconic number seven jersey, worn by icons like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. The pressure of both transfer price and the jersey is massive but the England international has all the quality required to prove his critics wrong.