Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag is thought to be an admirer of Matthijs de Ligt, having coached him earlier in his Ajax tenure, the centre-back being a crucial part of a side who reached the semifinals of the Champions League. United’s incoming hope, Teden Mengi, is similar to Ajax, a year older than Matthijs de Ligt when he captained Eric ten Hags Ajax team to the Europa League semifinals in 2019. Even the most optimistic Manchester United fans can hardly hope for Champions League glory next season in the first season under Eric ten Hag, with a challenging task ahead against Manchester City and Liverpool.
In Erik ten Hags’ first season at Eerste Divisie side De Graafschap, he would help the club to a Dutch Second Division title, earning them promotion back into the Eredivisie. However, they would drop down the following season. Erik ten Hags Eredivisie team, FC Twente, retired in 2002, having been part of FC Twente’s team for eight of his 12 seasons as a player. From there, Eric ten Hag would return to his home club FC Twente for a two-season stint, making 45 appearances and scoring two goals, with the club finishing fifth in both their league campaigns and competing in UEFA Cup. While Erik Ten Hag is highly respected for his tactical nous and ability to develop younger players, persistent questions were raised over how he would cope with switching from the Eredivisie to the Premier League and his lack of experience coaching top-profile players such as Cristiano Ronaldo.
One reason United appointed Erik Ten Hag was for his ability to develop players already available to him, as opposed to just buying them, and he will need a mix of the two if he is to enjoy a successful debut season at Old Trafford. Sources told the Stretty News that Matthijs de Ligt is a player Erik ten Hag has an admiration for but is not one Manchester United is looking to bring to Old Trafford this summer. The only clubs at this point which have the money are Chelsea and United, the latter having an edge and receiving him openly due to de Ligts history with Erik Ten Hag. Teden Mengi will hope to impress heavily in pre-season and capture the attention of Erik Ten Hag, who is taking over as the club’s next permanent coach this summer.
A summer of much-needed changes will put Erik ten Hag’s ability to work constructively immediately with United’s new chief executive Richard Arnold, technical director Darren Fletcher and head of football Jon Murtaugh under immediate pressure. Manchester United defender Alex Telles said that the arrival of the new boss has had no impact on the squad as they know what they need to do, with others in the club working towards a new manager, which is something to take into account next season.