COMMENT

To succeed, Ten Hag must sell Manchester United players, buy these Nigerians

Manchester United's current crop of players are widely considered the lead cause of the club's continuous downfall: like the defeat to Arsenal, something hungry Super Eagles players can solve.

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Manchester United supporters were on Saturday thrown into an ever-continuing loop of cursing at their club after Arsenal defeated them 3-1 at the Emirates.

The defeat saw a brilliant Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United's best outfield player this season, scoring his 100th Premier League goal as a Red Devil.

It, however, also saw Arsenal's trio of Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka all score for the Gunners to limit United's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

On Thursday, before the Arsenal game, the internet went agog over Manchester United's announcement of Erik Ten Hag as the club's new manager.

But while John Murtough: United's Football Director, might have described Ten Hag as "the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe", it remains unknown if the Dutchman's incredible resume from his time at Ajax can, save him from possible chaos when he trades the Johan Cruijff Arena for Old Trafford in the summer.

However, if this period: from the end of the 2021/2022 season to 2025, is a success, it will be due to Ten Hag receiving significant transfer backing from the United management.

Currently, Manchester United's crop of players are widely considered the lead cause of the club's continuous downfall and near-demise.

The likes of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial (on loan at Sevilla) and Marcus Rashford are some of the players, fingered by the United fanbase as those leading the club to its downfall, with their poor performances.

But while Ten Hag might not be able to get rid of the entire squad at once, considering Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Edison Cavani could be free agents in the summer, an influx of new players, could be brought in, but in batches.

In comes the hungry - and ready to work - Nigerians.

Part of the reasons Ajax have been so successful is due to Ten Hag’s way of maximizing the ability of talented youth players. 22-year-old Calvin Bassey is a youth, and a bundle of talent still unfolding.

While United continue to struggle with their fullbacks, Bassey could prove a difference. The defender has risen to become one of the key elements in the Rangers team playing in 27 of their 34 league games this season, compared to 8 last season.

While Bassey might be considered a gamble of some sort, Ten Hag is known to transform relatively unknown but talented young players into globally sought after ones. With Bassey's work rate in defence, the job is half-done for United's new boss.

Arguably one of the best midfielders in the world. Ten Hag will have to rely on the services of Ndidi, should he achieve success with United.

The defensive midfielder who has previously been linked with Manchester United has been at the heart of Leicester City, dictating play for the last five years and is also an integral part of Nigeria's midfield.

Ndidi’s philosophy is to press aggressively and quickly win the ball while shielding the back four. His possessive play: something Ten Hag identifies with, will be an important factor should United succeed.

Ten Hag's relentless desire to win, again and, again can be seen in Osimhen. The Napoli forward: one of the hottest prospects in Europe, has scored double figures for his club for the last two seasons.

Ten Hag prefers to use a physical yet skilful striker: a description that fits Osimhen, while playing a free-flowing style of football.

Osimhen could make a big-money move away from Napoli this summer, and why can't Manchester United: who are looking to get a younger, and more agile striker as compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, be the replacement?

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