Erik ten Hag reveals impact of Manchester United’s new transfer department

Erik ten Hag reveals impact of Manchester United’s new transfer department

Erik ten Hag believes that bringing in Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox will make Manchester United better in the transfer market and thinks Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new structure will help him succeed at Old Trafford.

Sporting director Ashworth has started after a spell on gardening leave while Ten Hag worked with Wilcox at the end of last season following his arrival from Southampton.

After considering the credentials of other managers including Thomas Tuchel, Thomas Frank, Mauricio Pochettino and Kieran McKenna in their end-of-season review, United decided to stick with Ten Hag and triggered a one-year extension to his contract.

Now the Dutchman feels United have “a new energy” and thinks the appointments Ineos have made – with Christopher Vivell joining as interim director of recruitment – will help them buy better.

They have spent around £400m in Ten Hag’s reign but while they are yet to make a signing this summer, they have made two bids for Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and are in talks about a deal for Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee and Bayern Munich centre-back Matthijs de Ligt. Other players of interest include Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Manuel Ugarte.

And Ten Hag is pleased with the impact United’s new regime are having, saying: “We are so pleased that around the football, around the first team, we have a strong structure that will help us. They are really supportive and that will help us in many ways, like in scouting and recruitment, like in the departments of medical and performance. They will be so supportive and that will raise the bar.”

United won the Carabao Cup in Ten Hag’s first season in charge and the FA Cup at the end of his second year and he is targeting more silverware.

“It’s a fact: United didn’t win, for over six years, a trophy,” he said. “Now we’ve won two, but we are up for more and for higher titles, like the English title and even more, like going into Europe. That’s a process that takes time, and we’ll work on it, but I know with the set-up at the club, with the changes to the structure, and the changes to infrastructure here around Carrington, we will be ready for the future.

“We will improve. You feel it here, it gives a new energy, it gives a new dynamic and that will help us to achieve our targets. In the short-term, it stays the same: we want to win every game, and we have seen we are capable of beating everyone.”

Ten Hag is on the lookout for more young players who can follow in the footsteps of Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho, who had breakthrough seasons last year that culminated in each finding the net in the FA Cup final win over Manchester City.

He added: “We’re looking forward, we’re so curious: who is it this season, the surprise who can contribute to our team? Like last year – Kobbie Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho coming up and playing a big role. They are the two goalscorers in the final. Today, we started, but which player is there who can do the same?”