Exclusive: ‘Red hot’ Man Utd forward target ticks three boxes for Ten Hag, as wider attacking plans laid bare
Transfer insider Ben Jacobs has explained to TEAMtalk Erik ten Hag’s plans for the Manchester United attack, with Ajax star Mohammed Kudus one player they are currently eyeing up.
Man Utd were briefly linked with the centre-forward last summer. However, Ajax told Ten Hag he would not be able to sign any more of their players after taking Lisandro Martinez and Antony to Old Trafford.
Kudus therefore stayed with Ajax, and he has taken his game to the next level this season. His record stands at an impressive 17 goals and four assists in 34 matches so far, which includes Champions League strikes against Liverpool, Napoli and Rangers.
90Min have previously claimed Man Utd to be ‘extensively scouting’ the Eredivisie star. Earlier this week, talkSPORT fuelled the speculation by revealing Kudus has been added to Ten Hag’s striker wish list. He is on there alongside Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen.
Amid all the transfer rumours, TEAMtalk asked Jacobs to provide the inside track on Man Utd and what they think about Kudus. He explained how Kudus is the right age, has the right profile and is in good enough form to be considered a great Ten Hag capture. Jacobs also detailed what Man Utd’s plans are for the attacking positions other than centre-forward.
“The interest in Mohammed Kudus is very genuine. We know that Erik ten Hag is a big fan, they worked together at Ajax,” Jacobs said. “And I think that he’s got all of the key attributes to succeed in the Premier League as well.
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“Those that saw the Ghanaian in the World Cup will have realised how impressive and clinical he was. He got two goals and showed himself to be very smart.
“He has a good first touch and is very aware of his surroundings as well. And then if you look at his league form for Ajax, it’s 17 goals in just over 30 appearances, and he’s added four assists as well. And he’s only 22.
Ten Hag keen on another Ajax raid
“The advantage of Kudus, as Ten Hag knows very well, is versatility. He can play as a forward, he can operate in attacking midfield, he can go out wide as well. And he’s mostly this season being used as a centre-forward, which is where Manchester United want to bolster. But I actually think that from Kudus’ perspective, his favourite position, even if he hasn’t had as much time there, is as a number 10.
“That is another interesting part to all of this. Versatility is good, and that is the appeal from Manchester United’s perspective. But make no mistake, they also want a very rigid forward. They want a very defined centre-forward, not a wider player, not a number 10. They might want that in addition, but if we’re talking about number one priority, it is for centre-forwards. Kudus is in massive demand and you can understand why.”
Jacobs then addressed Ajax’s stance in all of this. The Dutch outfit will not want to lose more players after having to sell several important stars last summer. However, as became the case with Antony, if the money is too good to turn down then they will simply have to sell.
“From Ajax’s point of view, they won’t want a big exodus,” Jacobs added. “There will be interest, for example, in Edson Alvarez. Chelsea tried for him over the summer. Some say he’s creeping into Liverpool’s thinking. There’s nothing concrete there at the moment.
“But obviously, Ajax lost Lisandro Martinez. They could well lose Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus as well. So it will just be that balance that Ajax will need of not having a mass exodus of their star players. But make no mistake, Ten Hag knows Kudus. He’s the right age. He’s a good profile. He’s in red hot goalscoring form. So it’s definitely one to watch in the summer.”
Meanwhile, Paul Scholes has expressed concern that one Man Utd regular is not the right star to take the club forward.