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Friday, January 27, 2023

Erik ten Hag’s January transfer window plan can get best out of Man Utd enigma

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will be hoping his plan to bring in further reinforcements in the January transfer window won’t only allow him to add more quality to his squad, but also extract more from the players currently at his disposal. Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Old Trafford has only increased the urgency for United to sign a centre-forward in January. Ten Hag has already shown he is not shy when it comes to recruitment, as demonstrated with the £225million spent on six new arrivals during the summer transfer window. Although the Dutchman has been warned by the club’s hierarchy over a repeat of the level of spending in the last window, Ronaldo’s exit, and the £16million saving on wages that come with it, will have perhaps loosened the purse strings slightly. ALSO READ: Marcus Rashford told by Rio Ferdinand not to negotiate over new contract Ten Hag insisted in August that competition for places within his squad is a good thing as he made it perfectly clear to his employers that he wan’ts to press on with his impressive rebuildof the Old Trafford outfit’s squad.. He said: “It’s good that there’s competition. I think it’s natural in a top club – this situation has to be there. You have to push players to the highest levels. I’m sure the players are happy with it as well. We need players. You cannot cover all the games with the same players. You have to manage it.” United have now seemingly come round to the realisation that they need to bring forward their summer plans to sign a striker. With Marcus Rashford operating so well when cutting in from the wing, Anthony Martial seems to have had the path cleared for him to lead the line for his club, should he keep fit. The Frenchman’s recent history at Old Trafford has been blighted by inconsistency though that has seen him become somewhat of an enigma. His talent is undeniable, yet he is still to break the shackles of bad luck with injuries and find a decent run of form to spearhead the attack for United. Martial has seen many people question his future at Manchester since his move from Monaco, as the 26-year-old has tried to step out of the shadow of the hype and expectation that followed him from France. For most players, the news that your manager wants to sign reinforcements in your position would likely knock their confidence. Yet Martial looks set to benefit from a possible added level of pressure, should Ten Hag get his way in the January window. The forward admitted earlier this season that he sees competition for places as a good thing for him and for the team. “We brought in some very good players this summer. They’ve adapted very well and we’re very happy to have them,” the Frenchman told club media. “When there’s competition, you have to continue to put in great performances to keep your place, it’s a good thing for the team.” Ten Hag may well be pondering how he treads the fine line between upsetting his leading striker by bringing in a new signing, while also ensuring that he has enough squad depth to get his side through a heavily congested second half of the season. Yet the Dutchman should not be concerned, as Martial will be relishing the challenge to prove that he deserves to be the club’s main attacking outlet, as he looks to put to bed his status as an enigma once and for all. READ NEXT: A 9/10 and four 8s: United player ratings of the season so far United have two key squad adjustments to make in January Mainoo attracting loan interest United open to recalling loan players All the United news and views Story SavedYou can find this story in  My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.

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