Erik ten Hag has been urged to only sign players who are moving to Manchester United for the ‘right reasons’ by Patrice Evra.
The Dutchman has begun work at Old Trafford, addressing the media for the first time this week. He has a lengthy list of areas that need addressing following a poor year which saw the club register their lowest ever Premier League points tally.
Recruitment will be vital for Ten Hag as he begins to shape his United squad. Transfer market activity has long been an issue for those on the red half of Manchester with their choice of signings regularly criticised. The club have often targeted big names, many of whom are in the twilight of their careers with their best days behind them.
Big wages have been handed out without a return on investment as players seek one final bumper pay day. Evra, who played in a hugely successful era at Old Trafford, has cautioned that new boss against adding players whose motives could be questioned.
“It’s a tough job, but he will have to make [hard] decisions,” Evra told club media. “When he brings one player to the club, [he must make sure] they’re not coming for the money, they’re not coming to become famous, but they are coming here to fight for the badge. That, for me, will be one of his most important things.”
United added Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane last summer and were tipped to be outsiders for the title. However their flaws elsewhere were regularly exploited and the club must now address several problem areas in their squad amid a player exodus.
Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are all expected to leave with some of their contracts expiring in a matters of weeks. Central midfield is seen as a major problem area whilst centre-halves and forwards have also been linked as Ten Hag eyes a return to the Champions League.
He said in his opening press conference: “I am still in the process of analysing to set conclusions. I am looking forward to working with these players. The season before, this squad was second in the league, so there is huge potential. I think if we improve, if we can work with them, I think we can get out more than what is now the result from this season.”
Ten Hag also added: “What we are now doing is first constructing the staff, constructing the squad and constructing a good plan. First it’s the pre-season plan that we are now working on.”