Manchester United confirmed the appointment of Erik ten Hag as their next manager on Thursday morning and several players have offered their opinion on the decision
David de Gea has admitted the Manchester United dressing room are “excited” about Erik ten Hag’s appointment but wants to focus on the task in hand.
United are trying to salvage Champions League football after a dismal season. They failed to challenge in the FA Cup, EFL Cup and Champions League, and are sixth in the Premier League – three points behind Tottenham in fourth having played a game more.
Ten Hag was confirmed as United’s next permanent manager on Thursday morning but won’t start his new job until the end of the season. His Ajax team are aiming to defend their Eredivisie title, as they sit four points clear at the top with five games remaining
“Very excited the club has made the decision so now we all know,” De Gea told United’s website. “We know what he has done for Ajax, he has nearly been in a Champions League final, won titles and he develops players, so I’m very excited.
“I think he plays very good football. Now we have to be focused on the last games but we are excited for this. Now let’s focus on Arsenal and fight for the top four. It’s good to know he is already watching the games and thinking about what he can do to change for us. I’m looking forward to working under him.
“Of course, now the focus on Arsenal, it’s a final [for us], we have to take the three points, [otherwise] the top four is done. Let’s be focused and win the game.”
As De Gea referred to, United’s next Premier League game is against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. The Gunners are also challenging for Champions League football, as they sit fifth in the table – level on points with Spurs.
United have just five Premier League fixtures remaining this season. After facing Arsenal, they take on Chelsea, Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace. The Red Devils were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool in their most recent game at Anfield.
Ten Hag has a reputation for playing attractive football after working under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich. He’s won five trophies since his appointment at Ajax in December 2017, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018-19.
“It’s great news,” said Fred on Ten Hag’s appointment. “He’s a world-class coach who will help us a lot here. I’ve watched Ajax and they are a great team who play good football. We know he helps us a lot and hopefully next year we can win trophies.”
The United midfielder added: “The priority is to improve, develop day by day, continue fighting and challenge for trophies. We need to be back to the huge club that Manchester United are. We need to get back to being the huge club that we are. We know the new manager will help us get back on the rails and the objective will be to be back to winning again.
“We really need to put a lot of work in. The new manager’s job will not just take one day to the next. It will take time. We will have pre-season and it won’t be easy. A new style that we can adapt to. We still need to meet our objectives on this season of course, too.”