There will be plenty of work to do for new Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag during the summer transfer window, but there is one position that must not be overlooked.
Erik ten Hag has a monumental task ahead of him, and it will begin even before the first ball is kicked under his direction in the upcoming season.
If Ten Hag is to have a successful first season in charge of Manchester United, the summer transfer window will be extremely critical to his chances of having a successful season. As Ralf Rangnick has pointed out, several players will be required, but there is no reason why a large portion of the job cannot be completed during the summer months provided the club is willing to get their finger out of their collective ear.
United’s new manager will require significant support, not only in terms of financial support, but also in terms of confidence in his decisions on who he wants to sign and who he wants to fire. United’s team is expected to see a significant exodus in the near future, providing Ten Hag with the ideal opportunity to start with a half-empty slate.
While Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Lee Grant will all be out of a job when their contracts expire at the end of this season, the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, and even Marcus Rashford are all under consideration.
United may finally be getting the clearout they’ve been begging for for a number of years, with six players already out the door and the chance for another seven to follow them out the door. However, the task will be to replace those departing bodies not with a large number of them, but with high-quality replacements.
A new striker is on the shortlist, too. With Cavani departing, Martial wanting out and Mason Greenwood unavailable, 37-year-old Ronaldo is United’s only central striking option at present and even he may leave. Hopefully, Ten Hag will be able to convince the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay despite the lack of Champions League football and then a younger striker can be bought to play under and learn from him for a season.