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Manchester United vs Brighton: The talking points from Erik ten Hag's pre-match press conference

Cain Smith

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Manchester United vs Brighton: The talking points from Erik ten Hag's pre-match press conference

Featured Image Credit: Ash Donelon/Manchester United

Erik ten Hag will take charge of his first competitive Manchester United match on Sunday, where they'll face Brighton in their Premier League opener.

Ahead of the Old Trafford clash, Ten Hag spoke to the press on Friday afternoon.

With Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenkie de Jong and more discussed; here are the main talking points from the pre-match press conference.


Ten Hag's brilliant bluntness

The manager has shown throughout his time at Ajax that he deals with the media on his own terms. He also made it apparent at times during pre-season.

This was no different, as he kept his cards close to his chest regarding two predominant questions during his United press conference.

When asked if Ronaldo would start on the weekend, given Anthony Martial is out injured, Ten Hag's answer was typical.

"We will see on Sunday," he said, with a smirk.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Later on, he was quizzed on the club's interest of Frenkie de Jong. It is no secret that Ten Hag is a big fan of the player, but he was giving nothing away.

"We want Frenkie [de Jong]? I didn’t know!" The United manager joked.

"I cannot give comments on a player on a contract at another club. When we have news we will give it."

He also protected Ronaldo in regard to the incident against Rayo Vallecano. Ten Hag showed his authority in the press room on Friday.


Debuts could be incoming

Whilst he didn't want to give too much away, the Dutchman did give a large hint that we could be seeing some United debuts against Graham Potter's men.

Both Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen started against Rayo Vallecano last weekend, the Denmark international also featured against Atletico Madrid.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

They also appeared in the behind-closed-doors friendly against Wrexham on the previous Wednesday.

However, it was an unknown entity to whether they were fit to start against Brighton, with neither completing 90 minutes for the club yet.

Ten Hag has clarified this, though, stating that both players are fit to start against the Seagulls.

This could mean that Victor Lindelöf and Raphael Varane are left on the bench in place of Martinez, while Scott McTominay could have his place taken by Eriksen.


Transfers need to be 'right'

Yet again, Ten Hag has reiterated his transfer recruitment strategy with the club still looking for players in the market.

But, the manager does not want any player. He wants the right players to suit his system.

"I'm happy with the signings until now," he stated. "We just don't need any player, you need the right players and that's the point, where we're working all together."

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He was then asked whether he'd be happy to do no more business if those players wanted aren't available.

"If it's not the right player, no. Then I'm happy with the current squad. We need the right players," he responded.

This should be a breath of fresh air for United supporters. A lot of their problems in recent years have been down to the different managers bringing in a bunch of different profiles for different systems.

Topics: Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Erik Ten Hag, Brighton And Hove Albion, Football, Premier League, Frenkie De Jong

Cain Smith
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