Erik Ten Hag is fond of saying manchester united He has been “going in the right direction” on the pitch since arriving as manager in the summer, and the last 24 hours of the January transfer window were evidence that progress has been made there as well.
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Deadline day on Tuesday began with the news that midfielder christian ericssonWill be the player used more by Ten Haag than any other player during the first half of the season Out for at least three months due to ankle injury But it ended on a better note with the club announcing Marcel Sabitzer loan is signed from Bayern Munich to make up for the loss.
This is in stark contrast to January 2022 when interim manager Ralf Rangnick wanted a striker but could not find one.
“I spoke to the board and said to them: ‘Shouldn’t we at least speak and analyze and find out if we can get at least one player on loan or on a permanent deal?’ In the end the answer was no,” Rangnik said His spell in charge ended shortly before, in May. “Maybe they didn’t want to have a cold [business], I believe we should have tried in those 48 hours. Forty-eight hours is 48 hours. It might be at least worth it to try and discuss it internally. we did not.
“The answer was no and that was it. We were still in three competitions: the FA Cup, the Champions League and were fourth in the league at that point.”
Rangnick was not pleased and still believes that the lack of options up front contributed to a disastrous second half of the season under his management.
Like Rangnick, Ten Haag expressed concern in the January window that the squad – following Cristiano Ronaldodepartures and injuries for Ericsson and donnie van de beek – Will not be able to cope with the demands of four competitions. This time, however, the club listened and — crucially — acted.
striker wout weghorst Ronaldo was signed on loan to replace him, while a deal for Sabitzer was put together within 12 hours of the deadline after scans revealed the extent of Eriksen’s injury. United insists on the Sabitzer deal, and the speed with which it was done shows the club’s recruiting department – heavily criticized in the past – is now working as it should.
As soon as it became clear that Ericsson would be sidelined for months rather than weeks, a team led by Director of Football John Murtaugh, Deputy Director of Football Andy O’Boyle, Director of Data Science Dominic Jordan and Head of Recruitment Operations Steve Brown activated “Emergency”. The protocol” is designed to quickly identify realistic targets in the event of a problem. On Monday, Ten Haag was presented with a list of 10 names – deemed potentially available and of sufficient quality – but when he He still didn’t have a name when he sat down for his scheduled news conference at 12 p.m. GMT on Wednesday. Consider whether he’ll get someone on board.
When asked about the possibility of a late signing, he said, “As a manager, I think you always try to find ways to improve your team.” “I wouldn’t be a good manager if I wasn’t. If there are opportunities, it’s my job to tell the club that there are opportunities to strengthen our team.”
Behind the scenes on Monday and Tuesday morning, Ten Haag was working hard to bring someone in, while chief executive Richard Arnold was insisting that the team should be replaced after spending a bigger than expected on transfers last summer. The addition also had to fall amid tight financial constraints. , United already had a wealth of data on Sabitzer – they considered a move when he was RB Leipzig – and was convinced he was the right player when he told Ten Haag on the phone on Tuesday that he was desperate for a move to Old Trafford.
Talks with Bayern – which started only hours before the 11am GMT cut-off – were straightforward due to the existing strong ties between the clubs, something Murtaugh has seen since taking up the role as a footballing manager for all of Europe’s top sides. Have seen to do farming with. Director in March 2021. Sources have told ESPN that after initial talks with Sabitzer and Bayern, the deal – a loan until June – was like “pushing on an open door”.
United felt they had benefited from moving the entire recruitment drive to Carrington rather than split it between offices in London and Manchester, and with so little time to finalize the deal, Ten Haag and his staff Everyone was kept in the same room for the meeting together. key.
“We are really happy with the transfer because we needed it,” Ten Haag said on Wednesday. “Bringing in a quality player on deadline day, it’s difficult, but we’ve got this opportunity.”
Sources have told ESPN that United decided to sign Ten Haag back in January because of the busy schedule between now and the end of the season as a result of the success he has already enjoyed in the job. After booking their place in the Carabao Cup final with Wednesday’s semi-final win over Nottingham Forest ,Stream the replay on ESPN+ in the US) While still competing in the FA Cup and Europa League and battling for a top-four finish in the Premier League, United could have a further 32 games to fight for before the end of May Will play 65 matches in the season, 16 matches more than the previous term.
During talks with Murtaugh and the recruiting team on deadline day, Ten Haag asked that the potential success of his first season should not be undermined by the lack of options in the team. United have moved players in the hope that they will perform well on the pitch.