Erik ten Hag transfer pattern at Ajax hints at first Manchester United signing of the summer

Erik ten Hag is edging closer to becoming Manchester United’s new manager, and the Dutchman faces a huge first summer in charge at Old Trafford.

The Ajax boss is closing in on making the move to the Premier League, having thought to have verbally agreed to a three-year deal with United. Ten Hag was interviewed for the role last month, having become the club’s preferred candidate, with the Reds looking to have the appointment done and dusted before the end of the season.

If, as expected, Ten Hag does make the switch to United, then he faces a huge summer. The 52-year-old looks likely to be tasked with rebuilding his squad after what has been a dismal season on all fronts.

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Even before the transfer window opens, United have a number of areas that will need immediate attention. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has already identified a new striker as a priority, but a midfielder, centre-back and right-back are also likely to be high on the shopping list.

Reports over the last few weeks have suggested Ten Hag has been battling away in order to ensure he receives more control of the transfers as United boss. And looking at his time at Ajax, he may have already dropped a big hint as to what his approach at Old Trafford will be.

Throughout his time in Amsterdam, Ten Hag has made a habit of signing a star from South America. Since arriving at Ajax in 2017, the Dutchman has signed a player from the continent each year.

Over the years, Ten Hag has signed Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Magallan, Lisandro Martinez and Antony. Brazilian winger Antony in particular has been linked with joining his manager at Old Trafford, although his other signings might hint at who his first target of him in the summer might be.

The former Bayern Munich reserves boss has shown a preference for players from Argentina, with the defensive attributes of his signings being central to his success over the years. With Nemanja Matic announcing he’ll be leaving United in the summer, while Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are all set to depart at the end of their contracts, midfield looks set to be his first port of call from him.

And recent reports have suggested a player who would seemingly fit the bill for Ten Hag. River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with his £20.6million release clause coming into effect.

21-year-old River Plate midfielder Enzo Fernandez has been linked with a £16.6m move to Manchester United.

He could therefore become the latest in United’s long line of South American stars. Ten Hag’s arrival could also be good news for some of the club’s current players, including 17-year-old Alejandro Garnacho, who looks set to be the next cab off the rank after earning his first call-up to the Argentina senior squad this year .

Ten Hag’s arrival looks as though it may just be a matter of time. Should everything go as planned, all eyes will be on who will become his first new additions to him as United manager this summer.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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