Erik ten Hag at Manchester United: 3 players benefit from the move, including Jadon Sancho, and 3 are hurt - New Style Motorsport

When a new manager arrives, it’s natural for players to wonder how the change will affect them. At Manchester United, with the brains of Ajax Erik ten Hag is announced as the new boss of the Red Devilssome players will be thrilled with the addition, while others will wonder what moving forward might mean for them.

In ten Hag, United have a new manager who wants an engaging, attacking style of play, someone who wants to constantly press on the defensive end and a guy who has a reputation for helping develop young talent.

United is a club with an identity crisis, which has smelled transfer after transfer, and is full of players who go backwards instead of progressing. The expectation for ten Hag is a huge overhaul of the team. That can take time, though, so don’t be surprised to see some shrewd, cheap transfers early on to build a base to work with.

But when it comes to the current team, who does this move help and who hurts?

Who does this help?

Bruno Fernandez: The heart of midfield and the creator in attack, this is a move the Portuguese midfielder will absolutely love. He has the skill and vision to need just one touch to play a smart ball forward, and his ability to play the ball wide will be used all the time. The Dutch coach played a three-attacking wing behind a striker at Ajax and wants an engine in the middle that he can play to quickly get the ball to the wingers. Fernandes can do that, at the same time that he is a threat in goal. He expects him to make a big step forward next season and return to being the force he was at the start of his time at Manchester.

Jadon Sancho: There are concerns here that Sancho’s first season with United has not been as good as expected. He has averaged 16.3 goals per season in his last three campaigns at Borussia Dortmund, but so far this season he has only five goals in 35 games. The good news is that he is only 22 years old and he will have this opportunity. Since Ronaldo is expected to fill that forward role, you have Bruno behind him and Sancho probably to the right. Much of the attack is generated from the wings in this system, and there is no denying the talent that Sancho has. If ten Hag can instill more confidence in him and coach and return to the player who received the ball in attacking positions and dominated with it, he would benefit greatly.

Donny van de Beek: Just what I needed. The Dutchman is on loan at Everton, but he will return to United in the summer, and don’t be surprised if he finds his form next season. Van de Beek has struggled at United, but he flourished with ten Hags at Ajax, so no one will know how to make the most of him like his former manager. His versatility in the middle, playing either an advanced position or deeper, gives the coach plenty of options. He doesn’t rule out the possibility of him logging minutes as an attacking midfielder with Bruno potentially sliding to the left at times.

Antonio Elanga: That left wing is open to anyone who wants to claim it, so this is a move Elanga has to be excited about. Ten Hag not only loves to play with young players in an attempt to boost his development, but his preferred style of play naturally builds confidence. He will see Ronaldo control the ball a lot more as the team looks to make quick touches to open up space, and there are plenty of reasons why we should think Elanga will be able to earn more minutes than his main competitor for the job, Marcus. Rashford to take advantage of the space it gives you. Elanga can cut through the middle often, and we should expect the Swede to improve a lot on his only assist in the Premier League this season.

Who does this hurt?

Harry Maguire: Look, sometimes it’s solid, but more often than not, it can be an absolute liability. His performance in United’s 4-0 loss to Liverpool on Tuesday was absolutely stunning. As senior attacks have done all season, Liverpool reveled in their inability to defend in space. Since ten Hag wants to play off the front foot, I don’t think he’s going to give Maguire much of a strap. His partner in center, Raphael Varane, is a starter, to be sure, but while Maguire is a skilled passer, his lack of technical ability and his questionable positioning put him on the list of players this move could target. not benefit. I would expect Víctor Lindelof to potentially start ahead of him, and I don’t rule out Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martínez leaving. Maguire has a lot of work to do to show ten Hag that he can perform at the high level expected of defenders in this system.

Marco Rashford: Rashford hasn’t lived up to his potential on the field this season and at one point seemed to lose confidence. While this move might help him, I think he’ll do the opposite. Elanga, at the moment, is Rashford’s main competitor on the left flank, and they will go toe-to-toe unless a new left winger is brought in. But for Rashford, his future could be far from the city of Manchester. Mirror he has hinted at 12 players who could leave in the summer, and Rashford is one of them. What seems clear is that someone has a chance to make the left flank his own, and if it’s not Rashford, he may have to move elsewhere to keep his career going.

Paul Pogba: His contract expires this summer and he is expected to leave, but this closes the door on any possibility of him staying. His lack of consistency, his emphasis on style and inability to stay healthy would not fit the manager at all. He has done nothing at United, in either spell, to replicate what we saw at Juventus or what we’ve seen in France. It’s like he’s gone, and if he had years left on his contract, he’d probably still be on the bench.

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