Erik ten Hag is facing ‘the hardest job of his life’ at Manchester United, claims Paul Merson… as he warns the Dutchman the club are in ‘DISARRAY’ and need ‘at least three or four new players just to make the top four’
- Manchester United are facing a tough season under new boss Erik ten Hag
- The Red Devils are yet to make a signing as they look to turn over a new leaf
- Pundit Paul Merson believes the Dutchman should prepare for his hardest job
- He said United were in disarray and needed ‘three or four players’ to improve
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is facing ‘the hardest job of his life’ at Old Trafford this season, warns Paul Merson, who claims the Red Devils are in ‘disarray’ after a dismal campaign.
United are hoping to write a new chapter after former Ajax boss Ten Hag was confirmed as their new manager, but the Dutchman has plenty of work to do in order to get his struggling side back to form.
The team finished sixth last season and are set to play in the UEFA Conference League this season – despite being tipped as one of the favourites to win the Premier League title last year – as a crisis-hit campaign saw them sack a manager and then stagnate under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Erik ten Hag is facing ‘the hardest job of his life’ at Manchester United, says Paul Merson (R)
Ten Hag arrived for pre-season at United this week and faces a huge task to improve them
Merson believes Ten Hag will never come across a challenge as difficult as the one he is about to embark on and warned him he will face a squad that is facing a huge confidence issue after starting pre-season this week.
‘If Ten Hag managed for the rest of his life, it’ll never be harder than what he’s taking on now,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘This is a massive job. It’s the biggest club in the world and he is taking over when they’re in disarray.
‘He needs to bring in as many players as he can because this team is not going to get you in the top four. They need to bring certain players in – (Frenkie) De Jong at Barcelona, he’s a good footballer – and then you move on from there.
‘They need at least three or four players just to make a challenge for fourth place.’
After a dismal campaign, United need ‘three or four players just to make top four, says Merson
United are hoping to make their first big signing of the summer this week with the acquisition of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong – who worked with Ten Hag when the pair were at Ajax.
Sportsmail reported on Monday night that the club were edging closer to concluding a deal for De Jong after initially seeing a £60million bid turned down by the Catalan outfit.
But now United have made an improved bid and are hopeful of wrapping up the deal this week.
De Jong – who reached the Champions League semi-final with Ajax under Ten Hag – was reluctant to leave Barcelona at first, but has been persuaded by managers at both ends of the deal that joining United would be a good move.
United are hopeful of wrapping up a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong this week
United have also been linked with a move for Ajax’s forward Antony and their highly-rated centre-back Lisandro Martinez.
Arsenal have already bid £30m for the player, though Ajax are holding out for £43m knowing United are admirers.
The 24-year-old would be open to the opportunity to play in the Premier League and would be determined to take his chance if the clubs can agree a fee.
United are interested in Martinez but need to sell first with Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly all looking to move on.