Erik Ten Hag performed admirably during the preseason tour of Australia and Thailand, and he appears to be in a good mood. Preseason friendlies should never be taken too seriously, but the victories over Crystal Palace, Liverpool, and Melbourne Victory were noteworthy.
While recent additions Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez will soon join the rest of his squad, Erik Ten Hag must act quickly to instill his unique playstyle as well as tactical principles with a team that was struggling for any kind of identity the previous season.
There is still work to be done, and the hunt for Frenkie de Jong threatens to last throughout the summer. However, there are already hints as to what the era of Erik Ten Hag will bring.
A Lot Of Work Still Left To Set Up Erik Ten Hag’s Side The Way He Wants
De Gea will play goal, but he needs to play with more freedom. Although there has been discussion about the goalkeeper’s limitations when it comes to skills on the ball for some time, can he fit into Erik Ten Hag’s concept of a contemporary goalkeeper?
The deepest of any goalkeeper at the “big six” clubs last season, DDG was, on average, 13.6 yards away from his line at the time of executing defensive actions. However, if some infrequent forays away from his line to clean up the danger and more long-range, ambitious passes are any indication, he is adapting and becoming less risk-averse.
Martinez will be on the left, assisting Maguire on the right. The arrival of Lisandro Martinez made him the most expensive defender in club history, costing €55 million (£46.8 million) plus €10 million in add-ons.
Martinez has been praised for his versatility and holding midfield experience, as well as for his height of 5 feet 9 inches, but Erik Ten Hag has made it clear where his new acquisition will play. If De Jong is delayed, Fred will start as a holding midfielder.
Despite reaching an agreement with Barcelona regarding the details of a deal worth €85 million (£72.3 million), United’s pursuit of priority transfer target Frenkie de Jong does not appear to be any closer to being resolved. His unpaid, deferred wages, which are estimated to be worth at least £17 million, remain a significant barrier.