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Erik ten Hag is finally implementing the Manchester United change fans have been begging for

Dylan Penketh

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Erik ten Hag is finally implementing the Manchester United change fans have been begging for

Manchester United's 6-3 defeat has Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday has given the club and fans a wake up call.

Over the years, the contracts handed out to the players have caused much debate among fans, with the recent Manchester City defeat once again sparking them. This ranges from the worth of the deals, the lengths handed out and the timing of them.

One example that has cropped up in recent seasons is Luke Shaw's contract extension back in 2018.

Shaw, while under Jose Mourinho, had a string of great performances that were rightly praised by many, and on the back of this the club offered him a contract worth around £160,000 a week, making him one of the best paid full backs in world football.

Many debates then ensued regarding why this had happened, with this contract since being used as an example of the club handing out new mega-deals too 'easily'.

Manchester United have been guilty of this on many occasions, but have also been guilty of taking too long to offer renewals.

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This summer is a key moment for the club, as they have 11 players whose current contracts run out this summer.

This list contains Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fred, David de Gea, Axel Tuanzebe, Martin Dubravka (loan), Alejandro Garnacho, Phil Jones and Tom Heaton.

Granted, a lot of these players' contracts contain an option to extend for a further year which can be activated for the club at any time, and the norm is that these do get activated; however, the point still stands - there are a lot of renewals that may need to take place within the next nine months.

With Erik ten Hag now at the helm, each player needs to prove their worth in order to stay, and the Dutch manager knows this.

According to James Ducker of the Telegraph, Ten Hag has told the Manchester United hierarchy to not grant and new contracts until he has decided who warrants them.

In previous seasons, contracts have been allocated by old CEO of Manchester United, Ed Woodward.

Erik ten Hag taking control of the process and pausing all talks at such a crucial time is proof that the manager has recognised this flaw within United's current system, and wants to fix it.

It is said that Erik ten Hag wants to learn more about his squad until the season pauses for the World Cup in Qatar in November before making decisions on players’ futures.

Erik ten Hag and Luke Shaw against Manchester City. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag and Luke Shaw against Manchester City. (Alamy)

This pause will give Erik ten Hag the time he needs to collect all the data he needs from the season thus far and calculate exactly who he thinks deserves new contracts, who are yet to fully prove their worth and who can leave.

It feels that this decision further proves that Erik ten Hag, despite the incredibly mixed start to life at United, knows exactly what he's doing and has set very specific goals.

This kind of ruthless thinking and actions are exactly what has been missing for so long at the club, and although some fan favourites may lose their positions over the next nine months, it will all be for the benefit of the team.

Manchester United's next fixture is against Omonia in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Erik Ten Hag, Manchester United, Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, Ed Woodward

Dylan Penketh
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