Erik ten Hag is already making his transfer priorities clear to Man United


John Murtough’s confirmation that Manchester United are undergoing a thorough process to identify the club’s next long-term manager has prompted more discussion among supporters over who the successor to Ralf Rangnick will be and a number of candidates remain in the frame.

Mauricio Pochettino remains the favourite with bookmakers for the top job at Old Trafford and some United fans believe him to be the right man for the role given his previous Premier League experience, but Erik ten Hag would still appear to be the overall favourite within United’s fanbase.

Ten Hag has gained plaudits for his exploits with Ajax both domestically and in European competition and given his exciting brand of attacking football, he would appear to be a perfect fit for United.

But what does that mean for the current United squad?

Should he arrive at Old Trafford, you would imagine Ten Hag will want to sign a number of players in the summer to match his ambition and style of play and it stands to reason that some of the current squad will not be up to the standard needed. One player, in particular, should be worried if recent reports are to be believed.

Though reports in the Netherlands have indicated that Ten Hag is likely to leave Ajax in the summer, he is still planning to improve his current squad for the future, with fresh speculation that the Dutch club wants to target left-back Owen Wijndal from AZ Alkmaar in the summer.

The Dutch left-back has one goal and eight assists so far in the Eredivisie this season and he will likely replace Nicolas Tagliafico, who wants to leave the club to join Barcelona.

Alongside the likes of Noussair Mazraoui and the aforementioned Tagliafico, the links to Wijndal highlight how Ten Hag puts emphasis on getting his full-backs to get forward regularly and be progressive in their use of the ball. Patently, this does not fit the profile of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Though defensively solid, Wan-Bissaka has problems going forward with his crossing and passing under pressure and therefore might not be suitable for the role that Ten Hag will want his full-backs to play in the build-up.

Diogo Dalot has played more in recent weeks due to his on-the-ball ability but he is also not the finished article even if he is likelier to be closer to the profile of right-back that Ten Hag would want to use at United.

The dream scenario is that United are able to acquire Mazraoui on a free transfer from Ajax but it is the Moroccan right-back has a number of suitors across Europe and right-back does not look as critical a position currently with the midfield and striker positions still needing to be addressed. Unless, that is, they opt to move Wan-Bissaka on if he does not prove a stylistic fit.

United spent £50m on Wan-Bissaka but they may have to be prepared to cut their losses in the near future if Ten Hag becomes the frontrunner for the Old Trafford hotseat. He looks the most ill-fitting option for a prospective first-team squad and the links to Wijndal are already marking out what he’d be seeking from any signings at United.