Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

One troublesome Man Utd star left in Ten Hag’s squad as boss takes Ralf Rangnick advice and lets duo leave

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has one final Manchester United ‘mood killer’ to axe from his squad after listening to Ralf Rangnick’s comments and allowing two poisonous players to leave, according to a report.

Rangnick took charge of Man Utd on an interim basis in November 2021 and lasted until the end of the 2021-22 campaign. He was supposed to complete a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford after that. But his time as manager was so poor that he decided against this option.

Rangnick was in charge of a fractured dressing room involving big names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba. Some did not get on, while others were still loyal to the German’s predecessor, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Under his guidance, Man Utd only managed to finish on 58 points in the Premier League. This represents their worst season since the English top flight was rebranded back in 1992.

While Rangnick was at the helm, the Red Devils were also knocked out of the remaining cup competitions they were in. Atletico Madrid beat them 2-1 on aggregate in the Champions League last 16, while Championship Middlesbrough dumped them out of the FA Cup in just the fourth round.

The 64-year-old cut a hugely frustrated figure at times. He spoke openly about the problems in his dressing room and beyond. Following the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool in April 2022, Rangnick said the performance was ‘humiliating’ and that Man Utd were ‘six years’ behind Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Ten Hag replaced Rangnick in the summer and has so far done a brilliant job. He has rescued the relationship between the squad and fans and is getting Man Utd to play exciting football again.

One of the reasons he has done so well is by getting rid of some of the old guard. Instead, he is trusting in younger, hungry players such as Alejandro Garnacho and Antony. Couple this with the excellent signings of Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez, and Ten Hag has set up Man Utd for future success.

Ralf Rangnick told Ten Hag to get rid of three players

The Daily Mirror have provided some information on how Rangnick influenced Ten Hag’s decisions, while citing reports coming out of Germany.

They claim Rangnick identified three ‘mood killers’ in the Man Utd squad. And he recommended Ten Hag to allow them to leave. These were Pogba, Cavani and Anthony Martial.

Pogba and Cavani both left Old Trafford on free transfers in summer 2022. Admittedly, Ten Hag was not at the club during the previous contract renewal talks. But Man Utd probably will have contacted him about whether to offer them new deals. It seems the Dutchman may have allowed them to leave so he could rely on different players.

The final troublesome player in Man Utd’s squad – as Rangnick refers to him – is Martial. He spent the second half of last season on loan at Sevilla. Although, he did not do well enough to earn a permanent move.

When he has been fit, Ten Hag has played Martial at centre-forward. However, Wout Weghorst is now available to the manager as well. And this could reduce Martial’s game time over the coming months.

Plus, Man Utd are hoping to bring in a top-class goalscorer at the end of the season. Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are among the strikers on their shortlist.

If those two players prove to be too expensive, then Man Utd could pursue a Real Betis ace instead.