"It would be magnificent..." - Erik ten Hag names the player he'd most like to sign for Man Utd
| Last updated
Erik ten Hag admitted his dream Manchester United signing would be Netherlands legend Johan Cruyff.
The United boss has improved his club’s fortunes dramatically since moving to the club from Ajax last summer.
Despite a tumultuous start to his reign, which included humbling defeats to both Brighton and Brentford in August, the club now sit third in the Premier League, level on points with last season’s champions Manchester City.
However, Ten Hag revealed that his dream signing would have been Cruyff - the late Netherlands winger often cited as one of the greatest players in football history.
Ten Hag on Cruyff
When Ten Hag asked who his dream signing would be, if money, time and opportunity was no object, the United boss was quick to answer Cruyff.
Speaking to the United website, the Dutchman said: “I would prefer to have Johan Cruyff and to have him play for Manchester United.
“It would be magnificent what he could contribute to this club.”
Cruyff is one of the most important figures in European football history, having been the central cog in the Netherlands’ ‘Total Football’ philosophy in the 1970s.
The winger claimed three straight European Cups with Ajax while he was named Player of the Tournament at the 1974 World Cup, despite the Netherlands being beaten by West Germany in the final.
Cruyff went on to have similar success at both Barcelona and Feyenoord before becoming one of Europe’s greatest managers.
He managed Ajax and then Barca, where he ended the Catalans' long wait for European Cup, while his philosophy has inspired the likes of Pep Guardiola, Mikel Arteta and Ten Hag himself.
Indeed, Ten Hag met Cruyff when he was just 13 years old, when the pair both appeared on a TV show in 1984.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner conversed with the young ten Hag about his management philosophy. But in the discussion, the now-United boss spoke with maturity beyond his years.