Jarrad Branthwaite links hint at new Manchester United transfer policy under Erik ten Hag – Casey Evans

The Manchester Evening News understands that Erik ten Hag is set to be the next Manchester United manager and his appointment will hopefully signal the start of a new era at the club. But with a new project comes the need for signings to facilitate the new manager’s philosophy and playstyle.

However United have fallen foul of signing ‘marquee’ names in the past without any clear idea of ​​what to do with them. Paul Pogba is, unfortunately, among them and the fanbase on Saturday made their thoughts on him very clear at Old Trafford by booing him as he was substituted off against Norwich.

Though a number of Pogba’s poor performances have come down to his own efforts, the greater overarching issue is that United apparently signed him with little plan of he would be best used. The same can be said for Donny van de Beek who was signed and then rarely played by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

READ MORE: Erik ten Hag pattern with Ajax hints at first Manchester United transfer

So there are two major approaches to solving this issue. The first is you improve your scouting department and target profiles rather than individuals and this is something that will need to be done under Ten Hag as you can not just go and buy the entire Ajax team.

For crucial positions such as defensive midfield, striker and Pogba’s replacement, this will have to be done to ensure that Ten Hag can get the ball running quickly. And United have already begun to draw up shortlists for these positions, which includes the likes of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Aurelien Tchouameni.

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But the second option is that you sign a number of low-cost young players who fit the base profiles of what you want and then develop them into the standard required. Since Ten Hag has reportedly told United’s board that the project could take up to five years, allowing players to grow alongside the team could be the option for a number of positions, especially in areas where players will be past their peak by the end of it .

One player who has been linked with United is Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite. The 19-year-old centre-back impressed on loan at Blackburn Rovers last season and is part of the Merseyside club’s first-team squad this year.

A young centre-back would likely replace United’s current fourth- and fifth-choice options of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones and give them a player who will be fully integrated into the squad by the time the likes of Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane were both on the wrong side of 30.

Going forward this is something United must consider. It’s both cost-effective and though riskier, would allow the manager to find young hungry players willing to learn his style from him and develop with the squad.

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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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