Erik ten Hag’s arrival at Manchester United has sparked a flurry of rumours linking players from Ajax – both past and present – to the Red Devils ahead of the new campaign. With Frenkie de Jong being the most prevalent, United could look to integrate him with a plethora of players who have also played under Ten Hag at the Johan Cruyff Arena. Express Sport takes a look at a potential XI if those moves come to fruition.
Goalkeeper: De Gea
Much has been said about David De Gea’s future at United and whether or not he will fit into Ten Hag’s ethos due to his perceived poor distribution. However, with the Spaniard set to stay at the club for another year at the minimum, it appears he will get the chance to impress under his new manager.
Dean Henderson’s lack of experience means he likely won’t start, and has been linked with a move to Newcastle as they look to kickstart their new era. How De Gea will start next season is another question to be asked, although his shot-stopping cannot be disputed.
Defence: TIMBER, Varane, Maguire, Shaw
United’s main defensive problems stemmed from their right-hand side last summer, and that could be resolved with the signing of Jurrien Timber from the Ajax. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is unlikely to feature heavily under Ten Hag next season, and Diogo Dalot for all his promising outings has somewhat failed to kick on at Old Trafford.
Alongside Timber will be club captain Harry Maguire and serial winner Raphael Varane, who will look to stop the defensive rot that formed under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. And with Luke Shaw likely to feature in his return from injury for the start of the new season, the left-back spot is surely going to be his.
Midfield: DE JONG, Fred, Fernandes
Frenkie de Jong’s return to action under Erik ten Hag after a three-year hiatus could be the catalyst for United’s uprising.
The Dutchman has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford for a fee of around £85million in recent weeks, with United stepping up their efforts to sign him given that Ten Hag has arrived in the north west. Joining him will be two of Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay as the Dutchman looks to instill his methods into the Red Devils’ side.
And it will likely be the latter two who will start given their technical ability and experience at Old Trafford.
Attack: ANTONY, Ronaldo, Sancho
Antony is the newest star on the block at the Johan Cruyff Arena, having joined from São Paulo in 2020.
The 22-year-old has aptly replaced Hakim Ziyech on the right-hand side of the attack in the Dutch capital with his flair, talent and speed.
He may join teenage sensation Jadon Sancho, who would feature on the opposite flank after some superb performances at the tail-end of last season.
And joining them for certain is Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portugal star looking to build on his 18 league goals from last season.