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Manchester United reportedly keen to sign at least one player who is aged 30 or older during this window.
The 2022 summer transfer window so far for United has been nothing but an exodus, with Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard all leaving the club for free, with Dean Henderson among others looking like they will shortly follow suit.
One key thing Manchester United will be missing with the losses of Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic in particular is the loss of experience.
Despite not playing a large majority of minutes, the impact Juan Mata has in the dressing room is widely reported, with him and Jesse Lingard often taking the young players under their wings and helping bridge the gap between the academy and the first team.
Nemanja Matic, despite losing some of the speed and sharpness that he previously held during the peak of his career, has always been viewed as a level head when times get tough. On the pitch he was always an extremely calming influence, and off the field there is no doubt that he was one of the most vocal and supportive players in the dressing room.
With this in mind, it has been reported that Erik ten Hag wants to ensure there is enough experience on the field to help ‘manage difficult moments’.
With the loss of these experienced players, it leaves a lot of onus on Cristiano Ronaldo, the only outfield player in his 30s, to carry and lead the squad. Fred, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are all 29 years of age and are due to play very important roles going forwards under Erik ten Hag, however the Dutchman is very keen to add more experience to his squad.
David de Gea is another player who could prove key to Ten Hag, especially after the imminent loan move for Dean Henderson to Nottingham Forest, as he and Ronaldo are the only two players left in the squad who have won a Premier League title – although Frenchman Varane also has a whole host of both club and international titles after his time at Real Madrid and with the French national team.
Needing players who have experience is one of the reasons why the club have taken a liking to Christian Eriksen. Although there are fears from fans that he is no longer in his prime, the club reportedly don’t see this as the case at all, as he is a player who can add vital experience to Ten Hag’s new squad.
Erik ten Hag is a manager who likes to utilise a blend between youth and experience. In his famous 2019 Ajax squad, he had a blend of brilliant youth players such as Frenkie de Jong, Donny van de Beek and Matthijs de Ligt alongside the likes of Daley Blind and Lasse Schone, allowing for a brilliance balance of youthful flair and level-headedness.
There is no doubt that Ten Hag will want to recreate these conditions at Manchester United, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga hopefully providing a similar sense of flair while having players such as Ronaldo, De Gea and whoever the Dutchman brings in to provide a counter-balance.
With reports coming out from Italy this morning that Cristiano Ronaldo is also potentially considering his future at the club, getting some experienced players in may prove pivotal for Ten Hag this transfer window and beyond.
🗞 Cristiano Ronaldo does not feel involved in the Erik ten Hag project at #mufc anymore and the absence of #UCL football has also increased chances of him departing. Jorge Mendes is already looking for a new club for him. [@repubblica via @_GIFN]— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) June 17, 2022
Manchester United’s pre-season training is due to get under way on 27 June, with the players who did not take part in the most recent international fixtures set to return to Carrington.
The club will then take on Liverpool in Bangkok for their first pre-season friendly fixture, before heading off to Australia to play Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Ten Hag’s squad will then fly to Norway to take on Atletico Madrid on 30 July, before one final fixture against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford the following day concludes Manchester United’s pre-season.
The club are set to face Brighton & Hove Albion at home on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, which will mark Erik ten Hag’s first competitive fixture at the famous Old Trafford ground.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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