Manchester United new boy Sofyan Amrabat cannot wait to get started at Old Trafford, having named the three midfield icons of the club he hopes to emulate during his time at the club.
The Moroccan’s long and protracted move to the Red Devils was finalised on deadline day but with just minutes to spare before the window slammed shut at 11pm. Signing on an initial £8.6m (€10m) loan deal, Amrabat will join United on a permanent deal next summer. The fee for Amrabat will ultimately set the Red Devils back an additional £17.1m (€20m), with a further £4.3m (€5m) in bonuses and add-ons and ultimately taking the overall package to some £29.96m (€35m).
However, Ten Hag was desperate to land his man and will be pleased his bosses have managed to finance the deal and yet stay within their FFP limits.
With Fred being sold to Fenerbahce and Scott McTominay out of favour, United had a hole in their engine room that needed a pretty urgent fix. To that end, the World Cup semi-finalist is likely to play a crucial role this season.
Now the player has explained his move to Old Trafford and named the eight past greats of his time following the club who inspire him.
“I think United had so many fantastic players and young midfielders,” Amrabat said. “So, in general, I look more to the midfielders like Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, David Beckham.”
The 27-year-old, though, admits several other United old boys have inspired him over the years.
“But there were so many big players. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney, [Cristiano] Ronaldo. I can go on for one hour to say names.”
Ten Hag reveals Amrabat role in Man Utd side
Amrabat’s older brother Nordin had enjoyed a spell himself in the Premier League with Watford and has told his sibling what to expect.
“Of course, [my brother and I] spoke about it,” he added. “He told me that he thinks that I have to go to the Premier League, it is the strongest league in the world. So now I’m here, I can’t wait.”
Amrabat will be in line to make his Manchester United debut after the international break when they host in-form Brighton at Old Trafford on September 16.
And with a back concern unlikely to keep him sidelined, Ten Hag looks likely to unleash his seventh and final summer signing as soon as possible.
Now the United boss has also come clean on the role he expects Amrabat to play, as well as the strengths he will bring to the side.
“It was already, from the start of the season, one of my wishes to get another six, a holding midfielder, in the squad because through the season you need that depth there,” Ten Hag said. “In that position we only had Casemiro who can play really well there. With others we have to make compromises but, with Sofyan Amrabat, we have another one.
“Also he can play alongside Casemiro because he can also play a little bit higher on the pitch. So it’s very good to have him and I think he fits very good to Premier League football, to Champions League football. I think the demands are strong.”
Amrabat has selected the United No 4 shirt which was recently vacated by Phil Jones after his 12 seasons at Old Trafford came to an end following the 2022/23 season.