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

Karan Tejwani
Karan Tejwani
  • 1 Feb 2023 16:15 GMT
  • 3 min read
Marcel Sabitzer, Bayern Munich, 2022/23
© ProShots

Manchester United completed a late loan move for Marcel Sabitzer on deadline day, adding to their midfield options and replacing the injured Christian Eriksen.

The Austrian midfielder signed from Bayern Munich as Manchester United are thin on options in that area and it was a signing that was required for the second half of the campaign.

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Erik ten Hag’s side sit in a good position in the league and are on course to make a return to the Champions League, with one aim being to end their trophy drought this season as well.

READ: Man Utd complete loan signing of Sabitzer

And given Ten Hag’s past comments on his midfield options, injuries, and Lisandro Martinez’s inability to play in midfield, the signing of Sabitzer wasn’t a surprise.

Sabitzer signing was essential

Earlier in the day, it was made clear that Eriksen would be injured for about three months and Scott McTominay would be out for a significant amount of time as well.

That left Manchester United with just three senior options for their midfield spots: Casemiro, Fred and Bruno Fernandes, with Donny van de Beek’s season already over after an injury he sustained in January.

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

When he was at Ajax, Ten Hag made it clear that Martinez can’t perform in midfield, and that made signing one a priority on the final day of the transfer window.

He said in 2021: “Daley Blind does not have the running capacity to play in midfield. And neither does Lisandro Martinez.”

Despite many beliefs that Martinez can play in midfield, he has never been deployed in that role, playing at centre-back for his entire time at Manchester United thus far.

He rarely did so at Ajax as well, showing why Ten Hag has been reluctant to play him there, and showing why Sabitzer’s signing was necessary.

Many have praised Manchester United’s speed in getting a deal over the line for Sabitzer – the second half of the season is long, and they are still active in all four competitions.

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