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Sir Alex Ferguson has told Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag what he must do with David de Gea after Sevilla loss

Sir Alex Ferguson has told Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag what he must do with David de Gea after Sevilla loss

Ten Hag can learn from Ferguson.

Sir Alex Ferguson's past mistakes can inform Erik ten Hag of how to deal with David De Gea after Manchester United’s loss to Sevilla.

On Thursday a tepid United were dumped out of the Europa League by Sevilla, losing 3-0 at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and 5-2 on aggregate.

Ten Hag’s men quickly fell behind in the south of Spain, gifting the hosts the opener after a mix-up between De Gea and the much-maligned Harry Maguire. Sevilla then doubled their advantage shortly after halftime with a looping header from defender Loic Bade.

United’s humiliation was complete nine minutes from time as Youssef En-Nesyri seized upon De Gea’s inability to control the ball and struck into an empty net.

Despite De Gea’s torrid performance, Ten Hag refused to single out any of the players after the game, while he was full of praise for the Spanish shot-stopper before kick-off, labelling him a “complete keeper”.

Nevertheless, the 32-year-old, who is currently in talks to extend his 12-year stay at Old Trafford, has made more errors leading to an opposition goal in all competitions than any other Premier League keeper since the start of last season.

While negotiations over a new deal for De Gea are thought to be at an advanced stage, some United fans are calling on Ten Hag to heed Ferguson’s past comments.

Ferguson on ageing players

Speaking in 2021 Ferguson insisted it was important to be ruthless and sell underperforming players, irrespective of their years of service.

The United legend was asked if he had any regrets about his time as United manager and revealed he found it difficult to move players onto new clubs.

Ferguson said via the Manchester Evening News: “There are always going to be regrets, but the thing is always to look forward. Tomorrow’s another day. I always did when we lost a game. The next day was better, without question.

"But in terms of the regrets… the 1994 team I had, the back four all seemed to grow old together, and that’s a terrible thing to happen to the manager because these guys were fantastic for me. [Paul] Parker, [Steve] Bruce, [Gary] Pallister, [Dennis] Irwin: Fantastic players.

"They gave me nine or 10 years and the evidence is always on the football field. They don’t see it. I see it. The problem for me is ‘what do I do about it?’.

Kwizly Quiz

"I managed to organise a move for them, and they did well out of it, but telling them is very, very difficult."

Ferguson detailed how difficult it was to let players leave, especially when they were at the early stages of the career.

Ferguson said: "The process was the youth coach and the welfare chap would come in with the player you’re going to let go. Maybe he’s only 17, 18 years of age.

"The way we’d explain it is we’d try and get him a team. We’d try and get him a club and ‘we’re sorry we’re having to do this’. That’s terrible.

"That is the worst thing, having to let a young player go. All his ambitions and hopes and desires are about playing for Manchester United in front of 75,000 people and going to Wembley in a final.

"That’s the ambition of every young kid that comes to Manchester United, and when you take that away from him, it’s a sore, sore thing. So I hated that. I hated that.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, David De Gea, Erik Ten Hag