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Erik ten Hag has already identified Manchester United's 3 most important players

Cain Smith

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Erik ten Hag has already identified Manchester United's 3 most important players

Despite having managed just seven games, Erik ten Hag has already identified his three most important players at Manchester United.

The United boss had all summer to dissect his squad, however, it always becomes a lot easier to assess individuals once the campaign is truly underway.

Following a disastrous start to the Premier League season, Ten Hag adjusted both personnel and tactics in order to turn things around. A four game winning streak in the league followed, which included victories against Liverpool and Arsenal.

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That winning run saw the team unchanged across the board, despite the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro sitting on the bench.

While there have been many who have clearly impressed the Dutch manager, there are three who almost seem indispensable to the side at this moment in time.

Lisandro Martinez

The Argentinian warrior has already showed the effectiveness of his grit and determination at the back, helping to inspire a new-look backline which looks all the more comfortable when pressured by opposition.

His partnership with Raphael Varane is looking very promising, however, his progression is what makes his inclusion in the team completely necessary.

Whether it be through a driving run into space or a smart pass through the lines, Lisandro Martinez has aided United's build-up play so much already.

Lisandro Martinez against Leicester City (Man Utd)
Lisandro Martinez against Leicester City (Man Utd)

It was on show when he came on against Real Sociedad. The team were struggling to inject quick progressive play into their game and that was exactly what the defender brought when he was introduced.

While those in the punditry studio will continue to doubt him, Martinez is clearly paying no attention to the critics as he has already became one of the most important players at Old Trafford.

Diogo Dalot

It has been a tough few years for Diogo Dalot at Manchester United, but he's finally starting to flourish under Ten Hag.

The Portuguese has not only taken the right-back spot from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but he is performing to a level that makes him increasingly important for what the manager wants to build at the Theatre of Dreams.

With the ability to invert and play in midfield, Dalot has been one of United's best progressive weapons alongside Martinez.

His technical ability and confidence in possession has allowed him to break lines and spearhead United attacks, no better than the only goal against Leicester City.

Diogo Dalot of Manchester United. (Alamy)
Diogo Dalot of Manchester United. (Alamy)

After a long ball was played into Dalot's channel from the opposition, the right-back took the ball under control and fizzed a progressive pass into Bruno Fernandes, which eventually led to Jadon Sancho's winning goal.

While his role might change and develop following the introduction of Antony on the right-wing, Dalot is proving that he can be a very important player at Old Trafford for Ten Hag.

Christian Eriksen

After signing on a free transfer, Christian Eriksen was an addition which excited United fans, but many did not expect him to have his current role in the team.

It appeared that the Danish international would provide important depth in the midfield and be a direct competitor for Bruno Fernandes as the advanced midfielder.

Yet, the deeper role that he has occupied so far this season has given United some much needed quality in the engine room.

Despite there being teething problems in the opening fixtures, United's no.14 has been showcasing his incredible passing range and quality as they attempt to improve their possession game.

Christian Eriksen against Liverpool. (Man Utd)
Christian Eriksen against Liverpool. (Man Utd)

As that develops, Eriksen will be important. He offers a smart head in the middle, who knows when to make the right pass in those midfield areas, but can also launch attacks with impressive passes like we saw against Arsenal for Rashford's first goal.

His involvement against Real Sociedad might've shown that Ten Hag in beginning to rely on him. Once he came off at half-time, United's midfield presence was not as strong.

Ultimately, his game-time will have to be managed, but it's already clear that he offers something that his midfield competitors cannot.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Diogo Dalot, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Erik Ten Hag

Cain Smith
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