Man Utd newcomer Tyrell Malacia has explained how Erik ten Hag tempted him to join the club from Feyenoord in the summer transfer window.
The defender was one of United’s first signings of the Ten Hag era. The pair know each other well as they came up against each other in the Eredivisie.
Malacia grew his reputation while he was at Feyenoord while Ten Hag led Ajax to multiple league titles and cup triumphs as manager of Ajax.
The 23-year-old came in to make his full Premier League debut in United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Malacia shone in that game and he has since started in victories over Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.
He has rightly been praised a lot in recent weeks and he has now lifted the lid on how his move to Man Utd came about.
He has revealed that he had “good talks” with Ten Hag prior to his transfer to the Premier League:
“I knew [Ten Hag] because I played against him in Holland,” Malacia told Sky Sports.
“Actually before I came here, I spoke with him on the phone and had some good talks with him. It felt good for me. You see what he wants.
“I think his vision is quite clear. Now, as both individuals and as a team, we have to develop that.
“It was a big decision to make so to know the club and the manager both want me, that was important for me.”
Malacia was also asked which players he modelled himself off and he identified Man Utd legend Patrice Evra as an inspiration:
He added: “I always looked towards players with the same style as me, so obviously it was (Patrice) Evra for me. I really loved to watch him.”
Evra is one ex-player who has spoken out on Malacia in recent weeks. The retired defender wants the United star to “find balance” with his work as a defender:
“I always say, the perfect left-back has that balance. If you attack too much people will say you don’t defend, if you defend too much people will say you don’t attack,” Evra said to Betfair.
“He needs to find that balance and don’t think about any comparisons with me. I want Malacia to be Malacia, not the new Patrice Evra. Luke Shaw had the same problem.
“This is my club, but I always want people and the fans to forget ‘Patrice Evra’. If the fans still speak about me, I’m glad about it, but it means something is wrong. I wish Malacia well and I wish he makes people forget about Patrice Evra.”