Sports FOOTBALL Ten Hag appointed as new permanent Manchester United manager

Ten Hag appointed as new permanent Manchester United manager

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Manchester United have confirmed that Erik ten Hag will be their new manager on contract by June 2025, with the option to extend for a further year. The Dutchman will leave his role as Ajax head coach and begin his Old Trafford tenure after the end of this season.

Ten Hag has spent more than four years in charge of Ajax, winning the Dutch league and cup double in 2018-19 and 2020-21. His team lost the 2022 cup final to PSV last Sunday but are on course to secure another league title.

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An agreement has been reached to pay Ten Hag’s €2m release clause and it is understood the 52-year-old has been granted a key demand: to be allowed the final decision on transfers together with the club executive.

Ten Hag said: “It is a great honor 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 he passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

“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.”

Quick Guide

Erik’s story so far

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rise and rise
Erik ten Hag, 52, spent much of his playing career as a central defender at FC Twente – it is said a lack of speed made him work harder, position himself smarter and be more aware of the importance of teamwork, seeing the game through a coach’s eyes while still playing. He moved seamlessly into youth coach roles at the club before becoming first-team assistant, which included a spell working under Steve McClaren before Fred Rutten took him to PSV Eindhoven in 2009 for three seasons.

The first-team coach

Marc Overmars appointed him manager of Go Ahead Eagles in 2012 and he duly took the side into the Dutch top flight before leaving to coach Bayern Munich’s second team for two years. Then it was back to the Netherlands with Utrecht, drastically reforming the club that finished 11th in the Eredivisie the season before his arrival and recorded fifth- and fourth-place finishes before Ajax came for him in 2017. In the 2018-19 Champions League Real Madrid and Juventus were beaten and only Tottenham blocked Ajax’s path to the final in the last second. In the Eredivisie he is seeking a third league title in four seasons.

The style

“That head is always full of football,” says his childhood friend Leon ten Voorde. Reputation as a control freak who is loyal to his players. Analyzes opponents even if he already played against them twice in the season. Sends players video clips of opponents and gives pointers about which newspapers they should read or what time they should be in bed.

Photographer: Peter de Jong/AP
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United’s initial five-man shortlist also included the Spain coach Luis Enrique, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino but Ten Hag quickly emerged as the clear frontrunner. He will be the club’s first permanent manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjær left in November, Ralf Rangnick having stepped in on an interim basis.

Luis Enrique in effect ruled himself out when he made it clear he would not leave the Spain job until after this winter’s World Cup. Lopetegui and Pochettino were interviewed but Ten Hag impressed in discussions led by John Murtough, United’s football director, and overseen by Joel Glazer, the co-chairman.

During interviews Ten Hag more than satisfied the club with his English, which had been regarded as a potential challenge. The squad were informed of his appointment on Thursday morning.

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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.”

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