Erik ten Hag’s Bold Experiment May Compel Manchester United to Reconsider Transfer Plans

Erik ten Hag’s Bold Experiment May Compel Manchester United to Reconsider Transfer Plans

The manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag, has refused to rule out further additions before the transfer window concludes.

Following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool in October 2019, with Roy Keane to his left and Gary Neville to his right, Jose Mourinho addressed Marcus Rashford’s limitations as a center forward.

Mourinho, who worked with Rashford during his tenure as manager at Old Trafford, said, “I believe he is a very good player in certain playing styles.” “He is a very good player in some positions, but I don’t believe he has the 30 goals that a top striker has as a No. 9 or target man.

“He cannot improve as a No. 9.” He will continue to improve as long as he continues to play from the left side with another player as the objective.”

Since then, Mourinho’s assessment of Rashford’s finest position has been echoed throughout the nation.

He scored the majority of his goals for United last season from the left flank, where he played his finest football in United uniform.

Erik ten Hag obviously revived Rashford’s career during the previous season. He became the first United player to achieve 30 goals in all competitions since Robin van Persie a decade earlier.

His performances reflected the self-assurance that coursed through his veins.

Rashford caused the most damage from the left flank, despite the fact that United lacked a reliable focal point up front for much of last season, forcing him to occasionally play in the middle.

In recent years, he has described this position on multiple occasions as his best, and the reason is blindingly apparent.

On Monday evening, he was entrusted with playing centrally against Wolves at Old Trafford due to Ten Hag’s distinct lack of other central options.

Rasmus Hojlund is still recuperating from an injury he sustained during Atalanta’s preseason, and Anthony Martial has not kicked a ball since the final day of the previous season.

Ten Hag’s only other option was Jadon Sancho, who spent the majority of preseason as a false-nine, which would have meant Alejandro Garnacho starting on the bench.

The latter was deserving of a starting position after his stellar performance in United’s 3-1 victory over RC Lens in their penultimate preseason exhibition nine days prior.

After how ineffective Rashford was in the middle of United’s front three against the Black Country club, there is a strong case for him to revert to the left wing on Saturday afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

This is his finest position, and United will likely need to carry a potent counter-attacking threat given how Spurs’ style of play has changed under Ange Postecoglou, who saw his side dominate possession against Brentford last weekend.

Therefore, Sancho could rejoin the competition and begin in the middle. It is difficult to envision Martial being immediately inserted into the starting lineup after such a lengthy absence, and Hojlund is not yet prepared.

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On Saturday, Marcus Rashford could be redeployed to the wing position.

With Martial proving fragile, Rashford underutilized as a central striker, and Sancho, despite showing glimpses of ability, not being a true striker, United may need to add another forward before the transfer window closes in two weeks.

According to the Manchester Evening News from a month ago, Ten Hag is open to adding another forward to his squad in addition to Hojlund, who is regarded as the elite-level striker United desired.

Bringing in another forward will depend on finances, player sales, and a number of other variables.

However, it is a path that United cannot be averse to investigate before the bell.

In his first season with United, Hojlund will require support and patience, and having an alternative option to share goalscoring duties from a central position could alleviate the strain he is likely to face.

If Martial could maintain his fitness for more than five minutes, he would be an ideal candidate for burden sharing, but he cannot.

United could benefit from offloading him prior to acquiring another striker, but which clubs are likely to submit competitive proposals for an injured player? You would be wise to locate a handful.

The position of Martial presents the greatest obstacle in the quest for another forward.

Moreover, if United were to acquire another forward, they would have to be aware that their promises of playing time may be difficult to keep if Hojlund is the primary striker.

There are a multitude of variables in this equation, but it may be prudent to add an additional center forward before the final whistle.

Erik ten Hag’s Bold Experiment May Compel Manchester United to Reconsider Transfer Plans

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