Erik ten Hag appointed next Manchester United manager
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Manchester United star Harry Maguire is currently in the spotlight. The England international has endured a nightmare campaign so far and, against Liverpool on Tuesday night, was one of the worst player on the pitch. Now, reports have suggested the former Leicester star may be primed to lose the captaincy at Old Trafford.
Maguire was made captain by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back in January 2020, shortly after the departure of Ashley Young to Inter Milan.
But the United star has struggled for consistency at Old Trafford ever since, toiling under both Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
Against Liverpool on Sunday, the England international put in a shambolic showing as his side slipped to a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield.
Sky Sports have since claimed that, internally, United are starting to think Maguire should be striped of the armband as they plan for a brighter future with Erik ten Hag at the helm – with the Dutchman announced on Thursday.
So, with that being the case, Express Sport will now take a look at three players who may succeed him in the role.
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Let’s start with the obvious.
While Cristiano Ronaldo has been linked with a move away from United, some think the 37-year-old will actually end up staying.
Plenty has gone wrong for the Red Devils this term but, despite that, the Portugal international has still managed a remarkable 21 goals across all competitions.
Ronaldo knows what it takes to win at United, having won the lot both at Old Trafford and Real Madrid and Juventus as well.
He’s not the player he was but is still a role model for everybody involved and, therefore, his experience is worth keeping on board.
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Bruno Fernandes has been in dire form recently.
But there’s a feeling that’s more down to the circumstances the club are in, rather than any reflection of the midfielder himself.
Fernandes has still fared well for United this term, netting nine goals and clocking up 13 assists across all competitions.
And he’s a leader, one of the only players who isn’t afraid to speak his mind and lambast his team-mates.
United need that sort of elite mentality if they’re to ever become a force again and Fernandes has shown throughout his time in English football that he’s got the characteristics needed.
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David De Gea
At the start of the season, David De Gea was expected to struggle for action at United.
But the Spain international has been back to his best this term, producing the consistency he often displayed during the Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho eras.
De Gea has also shown character by fronting up in front of the camera and acknowledging the severity of the situation.
In truth, the armband should have gone to him instead of Maguire in 2019.
And United can now rectify that error as they plan for success with Ten Hag at the helm.
United delighted with Ten Hag arrival
Speaking after the club confirmed Ten Hag, United chief John Murtough hailed the appointment.
“During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth,” he said.
“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.
“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”
Ten Hag himself said: “It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.
“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”
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