Erik Ten Hag, who currently holds a manager role at Ajax has been confirmed as the next manager for Manchester United and is expected to join the English club in a few months.
The 52-year-old Dutchman will be leaving Ajax at the end of the season to become Manchester United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. He will be joined at Old Trafford by his No 2 Mitchell van der Gaag.
Erik Ten Hag said: ‘It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve”.
He added: “It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United”.
Before the deal was confirmed, it was reported that Ajax did everything possible to try and keep him at the club, according to technical manager Gerry Hamstra. “We hope he stays. We have to stick with the facts, he has not left yet,” Hamstra told ESPN at the time.
Football director John Murtough said: “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.
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.”
Erik Ten Hag confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United
The Ajax manager is said to have met with United bosses last month to talk about becoming their new manager and has now taken the role on a permanent basis, signing a contract until June 2025 with an option of a further year.
Ten Hag was appointed Ajax manager in December 2017, ending the club’s five-year wait to grab an Eredivisie crown in 2019 and he is already aiming for a third league title after four full seasons at the club. He also won two KNVB Cups and reached the Champions League Round of 16 this campaign but was bested by Benfica after having won all six of their group stage games.
Ten Hag will succeed interim coach Ralf Rangnick at Old Trafford making him the club’s fifth permanent manager following on from David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Dutchman is reported to have beaten Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane to the United job.
The new manager, who delivered two league and cup doubles to Ajax, will be tasked with ending a five-year trophy drought at Manchester United after another hugely disappointing campaign.
He will need to make immediate decisions on which players to keep and which to sell, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani all out of contract this summer.
Author: Allan Bangirana
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