Ralf Rangnick believes that Erik ten Hag’s immediate success at Manchester United will depend on how well he can rebuild the squad and mould a new team in the summer.
Several months on from the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United confirmed that Ajax boss Ten Hag will become their new permanent manager in the summer this week after agreeing a three-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months. United paid a fee of £1.75million to release the 52-year-old from his contract.
Ten Hag will have a massive job on his hands as United have endured another difficult season and plenty of work will need doing on his new squad. Six players at the least are almost certain to leave with Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant all set to depart when their contracts expire.
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Meanwhile, the futures of Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and even Marcus Rashford all remain in doubt. With potentially over 10 departures possible, United will need to make a decent number of signings to replenish the squad.
Rangnick believes that the success with which the club and Ten Hag strengthen in the summer will determine how much of an instant impact the Dutchman can make in the hot seat.
“This depends to start with in the first instance in the way that the new team can be rebuilt,” he told United’s website. “That’s the most important part and this will be quite a few players because there are a few players with contracts expiring, some other players who are still on contract but want to maybe get more game time somewhere else.
“I suppose there will be quite a few new players coming into the squad and to shape them and to mould them together into a team is the most important job in pre-season. To start with it’s now important, how does he want to play, what kind of players do we need in order to be competitive.”
Rangnick also praised the way Ten Hag’s side plays when out of possession of the ball and thinks it’s exactly what United need.
“He’s a coach who in the earliest stages of his career was still focused on possession,” he added. “And I think he still is but in the meantime when I see Ajax play with their counter-pressing and also with their regressive way to play out of possession of the ball I think he has in the meantime he has both aspects of the game involved.
“Being as aggressive as you can be against the ball but still being a possession-based team and I think this fits well into the way that you should play with a club like Manchester United.”
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