Ten Hag hints at major role for Man Utd outcast, claims there is no Bailly ‘headache’

Date published: Thursday 14th July 2022 9:01 - Joe Williams

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag speaks

New Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag thinks Donny van de Beek could play an advanced midfield role for the Red Devils next season.

Van de Beek was a key player for Ten Hag during their time together at Ajax and the Netherlands international will be hoping for more game time this season.

The Dutchman was loaned out to Everton for the second half of last season after failing to start a match for Man Utd in the first half of the campaign.

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But Ten Hag is making promising noises about his compatriot’s role this season, hinting he could play him just behind a striker.

“Donny van de Beek’s best position is his capabilities in the box of opponent,” Ten Hag told reporters. “Playing short behind a striker, he has a really good smell for being in the right position.

“I think Manchester United has a huge potential, and really good players. We have experienced players, but also a lot of young guys, young boys, who have a lot of potential. Now it’s to get the potential out and therefore we have to work really hard.”

Jadon Sancho impressed against Liverpool in a 4-0 friendly victory earlier in the week and Ten Hag was pleased to see Man Utd being a threat down both flanks.

Ten Hag added: “I was really happy to see it. We have a good left side, but I think you saw against Liverpool that we also had a threat on the right side.

“It was really good to see it because you want to have weapons. When it is only on one side it is predictable, so we want that to develop over two sides, also from the middle. We have to come from everywhere.”

Eric Bailly was particularly impressive in the second half of their win over Liverpool but Ten Hag insists it hasn’t given him a selection headache.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s friendly against Melbourne Victory, the Man Utd boss continued: “No, it doesn’t give me a headache. I am happy. We need a full squad with a lot of competition because there are lot of games.

“In the middle [of the season] there is a World Cup. We need a full squad with a lot of competition between the players. We need to push them to a higher level.”


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