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Report: Manchester United Appointed Erik ten Hag Without Players’ Consent

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By Martin Graham | 22nd Apr 2022

It has been claimed that Manchester United‘s new manager, Erik ten Hag, was appointed without the players’ opinions.

Erik ten Hag will be leaving Ajax Amsterdam at the end of the season after five seasons at the club which saw him win Eredivisie titles, the KNVB Cup and reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

This season, he has blown his chances of a domestic double by losing in the KNVB Cup to rivals PSV Eindhoven, but is currently on his way to another Eredivisie title.

The lead is slim, but now that the Manchester United business is out of the way, he will have the time to focus on keeping Ajax at the top until the end of the season when they can celebrate and send him off.

However, the 52-year-old will be managing a team whose opinion was not sought before his appointment. This, it has been understood, is due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence in the team.

Manchester Evening News, who made these claims, reports that the club chose not to seek the players’ opinions because there was talks about their being ‘underwhelmed’ by the prospect of ten Hag’s arrival and favoured Mauricio Pochettino instead.

It has been previously reported by the Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News that Cristiano Ronaldo especially, vetoed the arrival of Antonio Conte I’m October before he went to Tottenham Hotspur while showing strong support for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

These precedents set by Ronaldo and other players led to the club going ahead to do what they believed to be in the best interest of the club by appointing the former FC Utrecht manager from next season.

There have also been reports of Ronaldo being earmarked for exit from the club in the summer as ten Hag seeks to revamp United’s attack with younger players. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who will be taking up a consultancy role when ten Hag arrives at Old Trafford, said after their loss to Liverpool that as many as ten new signings will be made in the summer and winter windows next season, which means as many as ten departures from the club is to be expected.

The 52-year-old Dutchman’s arrival at Old Trafford had been inevitable for the last few weeks. However, he took his time to carry out due diligence before finally accepting the role. His appointment will come as a breath of fresh air for a United side who have struggled this season to challenge for any titles.

John Murtough, football director at United, waxed lyrical about the club’s new appointment after the announcement was made.

“During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth,” Murtough said in a statement.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.

“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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