Incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag gave a frank and brutal assessment of the squad he will inherent and feels the club need a horde of new players, according to reports.
The Dutchman was confirmed as United’s new manager last Thursday, signing a three-year contract with the option for a fourth, and he will play an integral role in recruitment planning for the summer as soon as Ajax’s season is over.
United are facing a massive turnover of players in the coming months, with a number of high-profile stars coming to the end of their contracts.
There are also question marks over the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot and Phil Jones – with many of those players about to enter the final year of their contracts.
According to The Independent, Ten Hag feels the situation – coupled with the squad’s general underperformance – is a massive issue and told United’s hierarchy they ‘could do with almost an entire XI’ of new players to improve the level of the squad.
That is not to say Ten Hag feels the entire starting XI needs replacing, but he wants to add a combination of both first-team starters and backup players this summer.
The Ajax manager’s assessment of the squad tallies with that of interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who suggested United might get into double figures in terms of new recruits this summer – in large part due to the number of players who have run down their contracts.
Speaking earlier this month, Rangnick explained: The team needs a rebuild, not because some players have to go but quite a few have no contracts anymore, their contracts are expiring, then for me it’s clear there will be six, seven, eight, maybe 10 new players.’
Rangnick has conveyed that same message to United’s hierarchy privately and backed up Ten Hag’s appraisal of the squad.
In fact, according to The Independent, the straight-talking German went even further and told United’s decision-makers that he ‘does not think all that many players are up to standard’.
Ten Hag is targeting a host of new players and is believed to want a new striker, right winger, two new central midfielders and a right-sided defender, with Ajax’s Jurrien Timber capable of playing in multiple positions in the back-line.
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