The lowdown: Slow revolution so far
Upon confirming the appointment of Erik ten Hag as the new Red Devils manager, many might have expected root-and-branch upheaval from the outset at Old Trafford as the Dutchman underwent a full-scale review of the entire playing ranks.
Instead, the development of the squad has so far been rather slow-paced, with only Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen through the door in Manchester, whilst Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani have all left the club.
Perhaps the most significant pursuit of the new era has been the protracted attempt to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, a player who Ten Hag knows well from their time together at Ajax, but United haven’t been able to get this deal over the line despite having an agreement in place for some time.
Linked once again with Leicester City star Youri Tielemans as well, one pundit has now suggested that the Red Devils should break the bank and sign both of their targets…
The latest: ‘Sign both of them’
Speaking to Football Insider, former England goalkeeper Robinson has claimed that United should not be choosing just one of the above transfer targets to sign, given the need for a major overhaul at Old Trafford.
The Sky Sports contributor said: “If I was United I would want to see both De Jong and Tielemans come through the door.
“They need players in all areas, in all honesty. They need to revamp the squad. It would not be one or the other for me. I would go out there and sign both of them.
“The De Jong deal is taking a long, long time for whatever reason. If they can get Tielemans that would be a big help because he is a phenomenal player. He brings different things to De Jong. United should be doing both.”
The verdict: He’s right
In previous guises, there would’ve been little debate as to whether the Red Devils should be making a choice over which of their targets to pursue, a level of dominance and former glory that Ten Hag has been tasked with bringing back to Carrington over time.
While there are sure signs of a healthy squad rebuild already taking place, plus the recapturing of form for previous fringe players such as Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho, further signings are still required before the September 1 deadline if United are likely to compete amongst the upper echelons in 2022/23.
The midfield currently boasts Fred, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Eriksen and returning youngster James Garner, leaving room for at least one addition to what is likely to be a trio in Ten Hag’s preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Boasting a wealth of Premier League and international experience, Tielemans – who was hailed as a ‘top class player’ by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – would be a safe bet in the market. As such, John Murtough and the Old Trafford hierarchy should be making their intentions clearly known.
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