Erik Ten Hag favourites emerge as core Man United group learn they’re safe from axe – for now

Erik Ten Hag reportedly believes that his new Manchester United squad should be doing much better and he has identified his early favourites.

The Red Devils looked to be turning a corner under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season. He guided his old side to a second-placed finish in the Premier League. However, things have gone backwards this season.

United are scrapping for a top-four finish again, with Ralf Rangnick in charge.

The German has struggled to truly stamp his mark on the team knowing he is only the interim coach. Nevertheless, Ajax boss Ten Hag – soon to be the new permanent boss – is relishing getting stuck in.

The Dutchman will arrive as a host of players pack their bags for leaving. Indeed, six stars including Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are out of contract.

However, reports have claimed that Ten Hag could cull six more including Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford.

According to the latest from The Guardian, though, Rashford is in the core group that Ten Hag wants to keep.

The incoming manager believes Rashford is entering his peak years alongside Scott McTominay.

Behind the pair, Jadon Sancho is ‘on an upward trajectory’ in Ten Hag’s eyes and must stay. Furthermore, the new boss wants to keep academy stars such as Hannibal Mejbri, James Garner and Alejandro Garnacho.

As for the older players in the squad, Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane are reportedly definitely staying under Ten Hag.

The 52-year-old believes the duo are in the ‘pinnacle’ of their careers and will play a vital role.

Finally, Donny van de Beek will get a chance to save his Man United career under Ten Hag. The midfielder was one of the star men at Ajax under his fellow Dutchman until United snapped him up in 2020.