Manchester United are on the verge of bringing in Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford as their new permanent manager.
As reported this week, Ten Hag is set to arrive on a three-year deal with an option for a fourth year – and over that time he’ll have a massive job on his hands.
There are plenty of changes expected at United this summer which the Dutchman will be central to making. And it’s obvious there’s one massive issue at hand with a bloated, unmotivated squad needing a clear-out and shake-up.
While several players will likely be shown the door, Ten Hag will also be expected to work his magic on getting the best out of some existing misfiring talent that will remain.
Here’s a look at five United players who will benefit from Erik ten Hag’s arrival at the club.
1. Donny van de Beek
Currently on loan at Everton, the first player that’s expected to receive a major boost is Donny van de Beek.
Van de Beek was the heartbeat of Ten Hag’s high-octane Ajax side that performed brilliantly in their UEFA Champions League run to the semi-final stage in 2019.
Since his arrival for almost £40m at United, nothing has gone right for him.
If Ten Hag is to become United’s new manager, it’s not out of the question to see Van de Beek central to Ten Hag’s plans in the use of both of his preferred 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations.
2. Jadon Sancho
After a slow start to life at Old Trafford, Jadon Sancho has settled in pretty well.
You still can’t say that the 22-year-old English winger has hit the form he showed at Borussia Dortmund, but that is exactly where Ten Hag comes in.
Ten Hag’s past work, especially with wingers, has been commendable. At Ajax, he has most recently deployed Dusan Tadic and Antony as his wide players with one striker up front.
As the Dutchman has a reputation to give his players full attacking freedom, Sancho could see his role modified – allowing him to tap in to his positional strengths rather than just raw speed and trickery.
3. Marcus Rashford
It all started as a dream for Marcus Rashford at Manchester United when he came on and scored on debut, but the present day Rashford is just a shadow of his former self.
Still, at just 24, the timing might be right for Ten Hag to make an impact.
Rashford’s pace, physicality and striking attributes have already been appreciated by Ralf Rangnick, but recent injuries and a lack of form and confidence have seen him falter. He’s barely featured under the German, and when he has it’s mainly been on the right flank – a position Rashford isn’t fond of.
United won’t want to sell their former golden boy, so the hope is Ten Hag can give Rashford a pick-me-up to start developing.
4. Anthony Elanga
Elanga has been a revelation for Manchester United ever since his arrival into the first team – and one of few positives to come out of a poor season.
At 19, he is still a raw talent, but Ten Hag’s arrival could unlock his potential to a new level.
The Dutch coach has a knack for developing creative players, and you’d hope the new manager can have a similar impact on the Swede.
5. James Garner
United fans have been crying out to ensure James Garner is brought into the first team after his loan at Nottingham Forest ends this summer.
Garner has been brilliant for Forest and at 21, is at exactly at the right age to make the step up.
The Red Devils desperately need a deep-lying midfielder. And while one may be signed, this could be the right time to start moulding Garner for that role too.
It could be a defining moment for the player as well as the club going forward, given their excellent record of developing academy players.