The quote that shows why Ten Hag was so desperate for Sabitzer

Jacque Talbot
Jacque Talbot
  • 2 Feb 2023 10:04 GMT
  • 3 min read
Marcel Sabitzer, Bayern Munich, 2022/23

Erik ten Hag’s words while he was at Ajax show why the Manchester United boss was desperate to bring in Marcel Sabitzer.

The Dutchman was forced into a late move in the January window by Tuesday's news that Christian Eriksen was out for at least three months with an ankle injury. Furthermore, it was revealed that Scott McTominay is out injured for the coming weeks, leaving the side really lacking.

Man Utd went for Bayern Munich’s Sabitzer on a loan deal - despite Lisandro Martinez being a capable central midfielder.

READ MORE: Man Utd fans will love what Sabitzer said about the club

But Ten Hag, when at Ajax, spoke about putting the Argentine World Cup winner in the centre of the park. He said to ESPN: “Daley Blind does not have the running capacity to play in midfield. And neither does Martinez.”

Man Utd could play 33 games more this season and have midweek fixtures every week at least until March. Ten Hag clearly didn’t want to run the risk of being short in midfield and so brought in Sabitzer.

He’s Bayern's fourth-choice midfielder and their manager Julian Nagelsmann was fine with letting him leave. The Austrian has fallen behind Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala in the pecking order with the Bundesliga giants.

Ten Hag's word about Martinez while at Ajax resurfaced

Ten Hag's word about Martinez while at Ajax resurfaced

"Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions. From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me," Sabitzer said when the move to Old Trafford was announced.

BBC Sport wrote that Man Utd scouts were pleased with Sabitzer's leadership qualities, saying he’s a ‘versatile attacking player with quality technical skills.’

Sabitzer joined RB Leipzig in 2015 and he quickly became an integral part of Ralf Rangnick and Ralph Hasenhuttl's setup.

There are differing reports as to whether the loan move to Man Utd has an option-to-buy or not.