Ten Hag’s influence over Man Utd superiors ‘concerning’ with worries raised

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has raised concerns about Erik ten Hag’s influence over his superiors at the club. The former right-back claims the current boss has had too much of a say on the players brought in during his three transfer windows in charge.

Ten Hag was appointed United boss at the end of the 2021/22 season. He made his presence known during his first summer in charge, bringing in two players that he had previously worked with before in Lisandro Martinez and Antony.

There was a Dutch influence to the signings too, with Tyrell Malacia joined later in the season by Wout Weghorst. The recent window saw United spend big on Mason Mount, a player Ten Hag identified as a top target.

Andre Onana, another player he knew well from his time at Ajax, was followed through the door by Rasmus Hojlund. John Murtough is the football director at United and plays a big part in recruitment.

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But Neville believes the issue of Red Devils managers having too much of a say on signings is long-running. He believes it dates back to Louis van Gaal’s time at the club and is concerned that it hasn’t been resolved during Ten Hag’s tenure.

He said on the Gary Neville podcast: “They are Erik ten Hag’s players, as Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] wanted the players he wanted, Jose [Mourinho] brought in the players he wanted, [Romelu] Lukaku and [Paul] Pogba and all those lads, Van Gaal went for a very technical type of player, loads of left-footed centre-backs and left-backs. They’ve all brought in who they wanted to bring in.

“I thought this time that there would be a more stronger sporting project behind the scenes that would enable Manchester United players to bring in a group of players. But no, they have allowed the manager again to influence the signings and that’s my concern with the club, they’ve got no strength at the very top.

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“If you’re talking about who would be the best sporting operators in this country and Europe, Manchester United don’t have them. They just don’t. And that’s my concern.”

United suffered a humbling 3-1 defeat at home to Brighton on Saturday, already their third loss in the Premier League this season. Neville isn’t expecting things to get any easier against Bayern Munich this week.

He added: “Look, there’s no hysteria, we are where we are. But yesterday was a sobering day and a day I don’t think many people were surprised by.

“They go to Munich in midweek and an awkward one at Burnley next Saturday night. Munich, you’d fear the worst a little bit generally with how good Munich are, but you never know. There’s some players there that could step up.”

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