Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

FIVE Man Utd signings to keep Ten Hag in situ and turn Red Devils into major force again

Edmond Tapsoba, Ivan Toney, Rayan Ait-Nouri

TT looks at five Man Utd signings that could keep Ten Hag in a job next season

Rumours about Erik ten Hag staying at Manchester United beyond the summer may alter the club’s transfer plans and TEAMtalk looks at five additions who could make a big impact at Old Trafford and keep the Dutchman in a job.

Ten Hag’s team right now has a lot of players missing through injuries and plenty of areas needing to be addressed in the transfer window.

If given this backing to find the players that would suit his team and a defined style of play the the Red Devils could be a force again – with Ten Hag still at the top table.

Here are the five players for five key positions they should look to sign…

RCB: Edmond Tapsoba – Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen’s Tapsoba is a very complete CB capable of playing RCB, CCB and LCB. Tapsoba loves to step out of defence with the ball and carry it forward.

His ball-playing abilities were a key component to Xabi Alonso being able to play their possession-based style and win Leverkusen their first-ever Bundesliga title this season.

He’s a very front-footed defender with an aggressive ball-winning mentality to engage in the tackle earlier. This aggressive, front-footed style is exactly what Ten Hag likes in defenders. At Ajax he paired Lisandro Martinez with Jurrien Timber who both did exactly that to a high level.

Not only that but Tapsoba is also aerially very strong and a huge physical presence at 6’4” who will help create a solid foundation for Manchester United to build upon.

If you look at the best teams in the league now and in the past they all have tall, physical and technical centre backs, and defensive midfielders. The key to Man Utd being better would be to build this foundation and the rest of the team around them will thrive.

LCB: Jarrad Branthwaite – Everton

Manchester United’s interest in Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite is no secret. The young CB has been quality this season for Everton and could certainly make an impact for United in defence.

He’s another defender with a huge physical presence at 6’5” but also so good on the ball. Branthwaite is ambipedal allowing him to carry the ball or spray passes with both feet. To add to this, the fact he’s English helps United buld a team with a core of English players including some of the best young ones like Kobbie Mainoo.

If Everton get relegated then United could possibly get Branthwaite for a cheaper deal and secure the future star of their defence.

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LB: Rayan Ait-Nouri – Wolves

Pedro Neto, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Daniel Podence of Wolves

Pedro Neto, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Daniel Podence celebrate Wolves goal

Another problem area for United has been at left-back. In this position they’ve played Aaron Wan Bissaka (RB), Sofyan Amrabat (DM) and Diogo Dalot (RB) to cover the injured Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

So they’re in need of a reliable option in that position who can compete with Shaw once the England man is back fit. In that case, Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri would fit the profile needed for left-back.

A technical player with so much quality on the ball. Ait-Nouri can carry the ball from deep, take on players down the line, good passing ability, could invert if needed, great at overlapping and providing width, quality crossing.

He’s a very complete left back. But not only that but due to the fact he’s much younger than Shaw at 22 means he could not only compete with him but also take his place.

DM: Amadou Onana – Everton

Another Everton man on the list here and it’s Belgian midfielder Amadou Onana.

Going back to a previous point about their need to add a huge physical presence in defence and midfield, Onana is the midfield equivalent who adds leadership, duel winning and ball-winning ability into the midfield whilst also being a composed passer.

Onana is one of the best ball-winners in the Premier League and should definitely be playing for one of the top teams soon. Not only that but he loves to carry the ball and charge forward in transitions. He matches the club’s DNA.

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ST: Ivan Toney – Brentford

Manchester United signed Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta in the summer and he’s had a good season for them. But being still only 22, it’s a lot of pressure on one young striker.

United also don’t have many other striker options so they could do with adding some experience. Someone who can make an impact now, rotate with Hojlund whilst not blocking Hojlund’s path in the future to be the main No.9.

Step up Brentford’s Ivan Toney. The English striker again adds to the core of English players and is another who’s got Premier League experience able to impact the team now.

Toney has a good mentality, his confidence is what makes him so good and he loves to battle against the best defenders in the league.

As a striker he’s quite an all-rounder. Loves to run the channels, physical in ground and aerial duels, excellent heading ability, quality hold-up and link-up play to bring others into the game and he’s composed in front of goal too.

Add in the fact that Ten Hag recently admitted that he needs to sign a new striker in the summer, Toney fits the bill perfectly.

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