Ex-Everton party animal Van der Meyde says Ten Hag was destined for greatness

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Andy van der Meyde has claimed that he knew Erik ten Hag was destined for big things when they met at FC Twente.

When playing for the Eredivisie side in 1999, the former winger spent time with Manchester United’s incoming manager. Van der Meyde – known affectionately as 'Shandy Andy' by Everton fans for his love of partying – was just 19 years old at the time and on loan from Dutch rivals Ajax. But he saw enough of the coach to know that he would soon be in the dugout of a top club.

Indeed, although Fred Rutten was then Twente’s manager, Ten Hag was already showing his worth as a leader. Van der Meyde, 42, told SunSport: “Erik is from the east of Holland — very down-to-earth. He’s kind, straight, and honest — but he can also be aggressive. All he wants is to win while making the team better. I played with him at Twente after joining on loan from Ajax when I was 19 and he was around 30.

“At half-time he was always talking, saying, ‘We should do it like this, we should do it like that’. He was the one talking with the manager, figuring out if it was better to do it this or that way. "Already, as a player, he was busy coaching the team.”

The former Everton star also said that Ten Hag, 52, will want to deploy an attractive brand of football in England. He added: “Erik doesn’t want to play bad football. He’s offensive-minded, he sets his teams up to attack. For that I’d compare him to Peter Bosz and Ronald Koeman.”

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Ten Hag may look to give the squad a huge revamp ahead of the new season. United have slumped to their worst-ever Premier League points total this season as they can earn no more than 62..

As such, there is the notion that a revamp is in order – or at least a fair few new recruits. And one player United reportedly have in mind is Justin Timber.

The Mirror report that Ten Hag is keen to bring Timber with him to Old Trafford and talks are already underway between the two clubs. The 20-year-old was huge in getting Ajax over the line for Ten Hag’s third Dutch title this season.

  • Manchester United FC
  • Erik ten Hag
  • Ajax FC

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