Erik ten Hag has a problem with four Man Utd players before next match

Man Utd are making huge changes ahead of Sir Jim Ratcliffe coming into the club | Football Digest

Despite some improved Premier League results as of late, there is still pressure on Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag that is being propagated by growing issues with players in his squad. The Dutchman has had to deal with high-profile situations that have arisen but once again must work to fix certain problems within the team before their next match against Everton, several of which Express Sport has highlighted.

Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane has seemingly fallen out of favour with Ten Hag despite being recognised as one of the better centre-backs in the squad amid an injury crisis at the back. Both Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans have been preferred despite the former Real Madrid defender being a mainstay in the team previously under the Dutch boss.

The Frenchman’s quality is undisputed and even though Maguire has begun to turn his United career around and Evans has proved to have been a useful summer addition. Not using Varane has been a surprise and perhaps an issue, tactical or otherwise, does need to be ironed out between the pair in order for the back four to return to full strength.

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Marcus Rashford

After Marcus Rashford’s blistering 2022/23 season he has struggled to live up to the weight of expectation so far this campaign. Ten Hag has proven that he can get the best out of the England forward and will believe he can do so again, but after a huge investment, the attack is faltering.

United have scored just 13 Premier League goals in 12 games, only six teams have hit the back of the net fewer times, and the onus is on Ten Hag to help Rashford and co get firing again.

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Bruno Fernandes

Ten Hag decided to strip Maguire of the captaincy and replace him with Bruno Fernandes, a call that has been questioned by pundits including club icon Roy Keane. Whether a change in the leadership group remains to be seen, but Ten Hag surely will not want to go back on his captaincy once again and another step needs to be taken to help the Portuguese playmaker.

“The first thing I would do is take the captaincy off him,” Keane said after the 3-0 defeat to local rivals Manchester City last month. “I know it’s a big decision but Fernandes is not captain material. He’s a talented player, but what I saw today, he’s whingeing, he’s moaning, he’s throwing his arms up in the air constantly.”

Fernandes has since scored the only goal of the game in United’s recent win over Fulham and has gone some way to answering his critics, but will know that by his high standards performances need to improve.


United’s right wing has been a source of pain over the past few years as neither Jadon Sancho nor Antony or anyone else has struggled to make that spot their own. The latter came in from Ajax with Ten Hag but like many of his team-mates, has taken a step back this season.

It would be seen as a major stain on Ten Hag’s resume if he cannot get his former Ajax star and £85m signing to perform at Old Trafford and work will need to be done behind the scenes to help the Brazilian to reach the levels that Ten Hag believes that he is capable of.

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