Maguire, Shaw & McTominay OUT? Ten Hag decimates Man Utd’s British core
The 2021-22 campaign ended in disappointing fashion, as the Red Devils finished trophyless and sixth in the league, missing out on Champions League football.
In the aftermath, several of their underperforming stars were blamed, and there seems to be a trend of their British stars possibly being replaced by new manager Erik ten Hag.
Ten Hag was confirmed as the club’s new head coach in April, and began immediately after winning the league title with Ajax, and he has taken up a big task.
At first, he had to clear out the mess left by his predecessors, before beginning to implement his own ideas on the team and setting up his own squad.
Ten Hag looking to replace British core
The Dutchman has looked at the Eredivisie market extensively, targeting players such as Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Jurrien Timber and Antony to replace several of his current Manchester United players.
Malacia joined from Feyenoord as Ten Hag’s first signing, having been admired by the coach for several months, and he could be Luke Shaw’s alternative or replacement, with the Englishman’s fitness being uncertain.
The left-back missed several games for Manchester United in the past season, forcing Ralf Rangnick to rely on Alex Telles, who provided inconsistent performances, and Malacia is tasked with fixing that issue.
Ten Hag then actively began working on deals for Martinez and Timber to shore up his back-line, indicating he wants to ease the pressure on Harry Maguire. In the end it was Martinez who arrived.
The club captain, like others, had a disappointing season, and was injured and dropped towards the end of it, but while he has a few good qualities, retaining his captaincy in the upcoming season seems uncertain despite Ten Hag's recent assertions to the contrary.
Bringing in Martinez seems like an indication that Ten Hag is willing to try something new, and the possible signing of Timber in the future adds to that belief.
OFFICIAL: Man Utd have announced the signing of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax 🤝 pic.twitter.com/mDnlI3uDbk— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) July 17, 2022
Further up the pitch, Ten Hag has signed Christian Eriksen and wants to buy Frenkie de Jong.
This would suggest that he isn’t certain of his current options, which include the likes of Scott McTominay and Fred, who, like the rest of the squad, seemingly aren’t up to the mark.
Ten Hag wants his teams playing with control and being able to dominate possession, something McTominay and Fred have been unable to display.
Finally, up top, Marcus Rashford had a difficult campaign, while Jadon Sancho had an inconsistent season, largely due to the team’s poor form.
While they’re both great players and still fairly young, Ten Hag has lined up several options, if not to replace them, then at least to play alongside and elevate them.
There’s still a busy summer ahead, but for now, it seems as though Ten Hag is willing to let go of the team’s local core and look for more suitable options abroad.