De Jong claims Ten Hag ‘can win a war’ with two Man Utd players who have a ‘killer mentality’

Date published: Tuesday 13th September 2022 3:19 - Joe Williams

Nigel de Jong speaks about Man Utd

Nigel de Jong thinks Erik ten Hag “can win a war” at Man Utd as he has two players with a “killer mentality” at the club.

The Red Devils got off to a dodgy start this season when they lost their opening two Premier League matches to Brighton and Brentford, with the 4-0 loss against the latter sending shockwaves across the fanbase.

But new manager Ten Hag has recovered well with his side winning their next four matches in a row to move into fifth place in the Premier League table.

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Man Utd brought in Antony and Lisandro Martinez from Ajax, as well as other players from elsewhere, and De Jong reckons the South American duo could give the Red Devils an edge this season.

De Jong told the Daily Mirror: “Erik has 23 egos in his squad at United. You can have the best players in the world, but you can only start building a proper side when you can turn all those egos into a team.

“Ten Hag has chosen his players carefully. I can see one thing, he has picked players with whom he can win a war.

“I can see the strategy already. Look at Martinez in the team. He has that killer mentality. Martinez will run through fire for Ten Hag.

“Antony is adding swagger. He too has a mentality what we call ‘over my dead body’. I have seen that side of Antony plenty of times. United have done really good business in my opinion. The spirit in the team has changed.

“Last year, if they conceded a goal, the team collapsed like a house of playing cards. Now, we can all see the energy and strong mentality in the United team. There is a real team on the pitch again.”

Marcus Rashford, who struggled to make an impact last season, scored a brace in a 3-1 victory over Arsenal in their last Premier League match and De Jong is backing the Man Utd forward to do well this campaign.

“Rashford is feeling so much better in his attacking role now,” De Jong added.

“Ten Hag does not really have a prolific goal-scorer or a real striker, so he has put Rashford in there and it’s wonderful to see him giving top performances in return for the massive trust the manager has in him.

“I can see a smile on Rashord’s face again – and that tells me a lot. For far too long, I have seen him walk around with a sad expression. Now the joy is back because he is playing with players who understand him.”


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