Erik ten Hag is set to take over as Manchester United manager next season. Expectations are high from the Ajax manager to turn around things for United. Further on, United are ready to heavily back their new manager in the summer market as well. Interim manager Ralf Rangnick who will take up the role of consultant at the end of the season has started identifying targets for the summer.
Erik ten Hag has arrived in Manchester earlier than expected to discuss new signings. It is being anticipated that Ten Hag will poach some of the Ajax players for United as he commences the rebuilding at the club. Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is the first name on the list of players Ten Hag and Manchester United want.
Ten Hag highly rates the 20-year-old center-back and wants him in the summer. Manchester United have heavily suffered this season due to defensive fragilities. The Red Devils have let in a staggering 56 goals in 37 league games, with a goal difference of 1. Moreover, despite signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid last summer, the duo of Varane-Maguire has massively underperformed. As a result, Ten Hag wants to fix the backline first, with Timber his preferred option for reinforcing.
United looking at the young defender as their defensive solution
Sky Sports Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg has reported that United are pursuing Jurrien Timber. However, Plettenberg has also named Bayern Munich in the race to sign Jurrien Timber. But the defender prefers a reunion with Ten Hag at United. Further reports claim that United have already opened talks with Timber’s representatives over a move. The youngster’s current market value stands at £27 million and United could well pay the amount.
A natural center-back, Timber has the abilities to play as a right-back as well. However, Ten Hag could use him in the center-back’s role only given United’s problems in that area. The 20-year-old has established himself as a starter at Ajax after coming through the club’s academy. Timber has made 74 appearances after promotion to the first team in the 2019/20 season. This season as well, the defender has played 43 games for Ajax, featuring 30 times in the league.
Timber posts an impressive 2.4 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game in the league. Interestingly the Ajax center-back outclasses United defender Harry Maguire in these metrics. Maguire has 1.1 tackles and 1 interception per game in the Premier League. Although the standards of the Premier League are quite higher than that of Dutch Eredivisie, the stats are something to be optimistic about. Further on, Timber also delivers 1.4 clearances and 1.5 aerial duels as well. However, he also seems to be confident on the ball, amassing a pass completion rate of a whopping 91.5%.
United are certainly on the right path chasing the defender. Moreover, at just 20 Timber could be the future of Man United’s defense. Erik ten Hag could also be reckoning the same for the youngster. Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, United have signed players mismatching to the manager’s style. Ten Hag signing Timber for the Red Devils could just break the trend.
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