Erik ten Hag told Man Utd board he needed ‘almost an entire new XI’ before Arsenal defeat

Rangnick believes full pre-season will help ten Hag at Man Utd

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Before Manchester United’s defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, Erik ten Hag reportedly told the board he required ‘almost an entire new starting XI’. The Dutchman will take over from Ralf Rangnick at the end of the campaign. And it’s clear based on this season he’ll need to be ruthless in order to bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.

Last week, Manchester United confirmed Ten Hag as their new manager with the 52-year-old primed to sign a three-year deal.

And it’s clear the Dutchman has a big task on his hands, with Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal yet another low point in a season where there have been plenty of them.

United weren’t as bad as they had been days previously, in their 4-0 battering at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield.

But goals from Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka gave Arsenal all three points and worsened United’s fortunes in the process.

Now, the Independent say that before that defeat Ten Hag had made it clear to the board he retired ‘almost an entire new XI’.

The current squad simply isn’t up to scratch and this revelation comes just days after Ralf Rangnick had suggested there needs to be a summer of mass change.

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No names are mentioned as to who Ten Hag has in mind for his Old Trafford rebuild.

But several are believed to be under consideration as United eye a first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement back in 2013.

At centre-back, Jurrien Timber, Matthijs de Ligt and Pau Torres have all been linked amid uncertainty over their Ajax, Juventus and Villarreal futures.

In midfield, United have been tipped to pursue the likes of Declan Rice and Frenkie de Jong – despite West Ham and Barcelona making it clear their prized assets aren’t for sale.

And, up top, targets range from Benfica’s Darwin Nunez to Ajax’s Antony.

The publication does say that United will lose Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba on free transfers.


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The trio are all out of contract this summer and the Red Devils, it seems, are happy to let them go.

And whether United indulge Ten Hag by meeting his demands for a whole new starting XI remains to be seen.

Traditionally, the Glazers have sanctioned big transfer deals whenever a new manager takes charge – David Moyes aside.

Louis van Gaal was gifted blockbuster deals for Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao when he took charge, as well as Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo.

Under Jose Mourinho, United spent sizeably to recruit Pogba, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

And, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had his first summer at the helm, deals for Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were signed off.

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Meanwhile, speaking recently, Jamie Carragher called United a ‘graveyard’ for managers and players alike.

“Erik ten Hag faces four major problems upon taking over at Manchester United,” he stated.

“Their names are Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte.

“No matter how good Ten Hag is or proves to be at Old Trafford, he must take on and beat the best coaches in the world.

“That is tough enough without having to start afresh with a squad overhaul.

“For all the excitement at another United rebuild, the reality is none of those currently occupying the top four would swap their coach for Ten Hag.

“[Ten Hag] must reverse another worrying United trend. The club has become a graveyard for managers and players.

“Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, no-one has gone there and improved their reputation.

“He must overcome a weight of history which some of the most accomplished coaches of this and previous generations have found unbearable.

“The United job chews up coaches in a way it does not at their European and domestic rivals.”

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