Erik ten Hag's time at Ajax was defined by his intelligent development of young players
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Erik Ten Hag ‘plans to rebuild Man United around current crop of young players, with Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho holding the key to their revival’… but he’s also targeting a new central midfielder

  • Erik ten Hag will takeover from Ralf Rangnick this summer after leaving Ajax
  • He is expected to look to work with what he currently has at his disposal
  • The club are expected to offer him some financial backing in the market 
  • A new midfielder is top of the priority list as Paul Pogba is expected to depart

Incoming boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly pledged to work with the young players currently at Manchester United to improve the fortunes of the flailing club. 

Ten Hag, who will takeover from interim boss Ralf Rangnick next month, has a track record of working with young players and is expected to continue that trend. 

According to reports in The Mirror, the Dutchman has earmarked Jadon Sancho, Scott McTominay, Anthony Elanga and Marcus Rashford as players he feels he can improve and can form a crucial part of a winning United team. 

Erik ten Hag's time at Ajax was defined by his intelligent development of young players

Erik ten Hag’s time at Ajax was defined by his intelligent development of young players

All four have endured difficult seasons in their own separate ways, but seemingly will be encouraged by their new coach’s philosophy and backing of young players. 

Ten Hag’s development of Barcelona and Juventus stars Frenkie de Jong and Mattijis de Ligt eventually brought Ajax a combined sum of £150m, allowing them to invest and continue to be competitive in European competition. 

In addition to working with the current crop including Sancho and Elanga, it was also reported that the Dutchman is keen for United to be active in the transfer market. 

Marcus Rashford, who has endured a tough season, should be encouraged by the Dutchman

Marcus Rashford, who has endured a tough season, should be encouraged by the Dutchman

Ten Hag’s time at Ajax was defined by his admirable development of the club’s rich array of youth talent but also his intelligent use of the market. Signings such as Dusan Tadic and Sebastian Haller were well received in Amsterdam. 

United’s need for a new central midfielder is well documented, with Paul Pogba expected to depart this summer after six difficult years following his return to Manchester. 

De Jong, who Barcelona are reportedly open to selling owing to their dire financial situation, is thought to be a target for the Red Devils. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante has also been mooted as a potential target for United while Declan Rice, who is said to have turned down another contract offer from West Ham, is likely to prick the ears of a host of Europe’s giants this summer.  

Anthony Elanga has proved to be one bright spark in an otherwise uninspiring season

Anthony Elanga has proved to be one bright spark in an otherwise uninspiring season

Jadon Sancho has not enjoyed the campaign he would have liked after joining last summer

Jadon Sancho has not enjoyed the campaign he would have liked after joining last summer

Ten Hag has also confirmed that there is no stipulation in his contract at United that prevents him from raiding Ajax’s ranks. 

Indeed, speaking after Ajax clinched the title with a 5-0 win at the Johan Cruyff Arena over Heerenveen, Ten Hag spoke of how this current Ajax squad had enormous capital value and the club could make over £80m in player sales this summer alone. 

Speaking to Voetbal International, Ten Hag said: ‘If they cannot be kept, they will generate a lot of money for Ajax. 

Scott McTominay is said to be one of those the incoming coach feels he can improve

Scott McTominay is said to be one of those the incoming coach feels he can improve

‘There is an enormous amount of interest in players such as Ryan Gravenberch, Jurrien Timber, Antony and Sebastien Haller. Once again we have sculpted a team that is not only sporty, but also economically top. There is real capital on the field.

‘I think there will be three more big transfers this summer. That is indeed a loss in sporting terms, but then you as a club have received a hundred million euros, or perhaps more.’

He added: ‘This makes it positive for Ajax in any case, he believes: either there is an excellent sporting foundation, or the transfer fund is being expanded considerably.

‘The best scenario would be two big transfers, keep the rest, buy some and youth move on.’

Frenkie de Jong is a player United are said to admire with Barcelona reportedly open to selling

Frenkie de Jong is a player United are said to admire with Barcelona reportedly open to selling

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