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Man Utd owners the Glazers could be about to give Erik ten Hag three new leaders


Manchester United could be about to add three new leaders to their squad. Erik ten Hag is keen for the Glazers to fund deals for Christian Eriksen, Frenkie de Jong and Lisandro Martinez as he looks to succeed at Old Trafford. And all three players can bring experience and nous to the Red Devils as they plot their long way back to the top.

Manchester United had a quiet June, failing to sign anybody for the first time in that month since 2010.

But a busy July lies in store, with the Red Devils determined to reinforce a team that finished sixth in the Premier League table last term amid a torrid campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

At the moment, United are close to landing De Jong.

And while the Netherlands international hasn’t always lived up to expectations at Barcelona, his signing has the potential to be a special one.

On his day, the 25-year-old is one of the best midfielders on the planet.

And though Barcelona haven’t got bang for their buck, De Jong has still been a good asset for the club during his three years at the Nou Camp.

De Jong was a leader under Ronald Koeman, rising to the fore with some clutch moments when playing for his compatriot.

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But it’s for the Netherlands national team where the former Ajax star really shows his class and why Ten Hag is so determined to snap him up.

He is a player who is always ready for the ball, never afraid to take risks and always trying to make some magic happen.

How United have needed a player of that calibre for years, now, dating back to when Michael Carrick retired back in 2018.

Louis van Gaal has tapped into De Jong’s leadership to get the best from him, with the Netherlands now the best they’ve been in years.

And his signing would be a significant one for United as they go in search of a first Premier League title since 2013, when Sir Alex Ferguson ruled the roost.

Eriksen, too, can offer his experience to their current side.

At the age of 30, the Denmark international still has plenty to offer – something that seemed unfeasible when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the European Championships last summer.

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But Eriksen, like De Jong, is a player that takes charge on the pitch. Even without the captain’s armband to show for it.

He is a role model, somebody for younger players to look up to. Throughout his whole career, there hasn’t been a single scandal.

Eriksen took Brentford to a new level during his time at the Community Stadium last term, registering four assists from 11 Premier League appearances.

And while he’s been offered the chance to extend his stay with Thomas Frank’s team, the Red Devils are confident he’ll choose a move to Old Trafford instead.

The third potential leader United are looking to snap up this summer is Martinez.

He is a commanding centre-back, somebody who has gone from strength to strength at Ajax following his arrival three years ago.

Like Eriksen and De Jong, he takes charge. This time, from the back of the pitch – which is exactly why Ten Hag is targeting a transfer this summer.

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Arsenal are also eyeing the 24-year-old, with the Gunners looking for somebody to provide competition for Ben White and Gabriel.

But there’s a sense he will end up at United instead, with Ten Hag a factor at play.

Martinez is like a refined, significantly better version of Marcos Rojo. He can wow crowds with a tackle and takes no prisoners, meaning he’s always ready to go to war.

The Glazers have, so far, not snapped anybody up despite taking roughly £11million in dividends.

But things look likely to change soon, with Ten Hag driving changes at the club both on the field and behind the scenes.

On the subject of leadership at United, meanwhile, Wes Brown feels Harry Maguire should keep the captaincy despite rumours it could go to Cristiano Ronaldo instead.

“The captaincy to me, obviously it’s a big deal but you just get on with it,” he told Express Sport.

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“For instance, if he got it taken off him, he’ll be disappointed. Ultimately, he’ll want to show everybody he can do it.

“There were a lot of players who had a bad season last season. But, as the captain, you will take a lot of stick and I think he understands that.

“Performances at times, not just from him but quite a lot, when it happens in the same game it isn’t going to work.

“I’ve said this before, I’ve watched many games where Maguire may have been at fault for the last part of the goal, but leading up to it there’s three or four mistakes when it shouldn’t have got to that position.

“Yes, Maguire will be disappointed in bits that he’s been involved in. And he’s the captain, he’s going to get pulled up on it.

“But that’s what I mean about consistency. We need to be better in all the areas but Harry is older, wiser, he’s got experience and he’ll want to show everybody he can do it and it’s as simple as that.”



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