Erik ten Hag was named the new Manchester United manager ahead of Mauricio Pochettino because he is ‘most closely aligned’ with the identity of the club.
Having missed the chance to bring in the Argentine in 2019 while he was in charge of Tottenham, United interviewed Pochettino earlier this year as part of their lengthy search for a new permanent manager.
Following three Eredivisie titles with Ajax and impressive showings in Europe, ten Hag was confirmed as the man in charge, officially unveiled by the club this week.
Pochettino was understood to be the Dutchman’s closest rival for the job but United’s football director John Murtough has explained ten Hag was picked after laying out his ‘long-term vision’ with ‘clarity and confidence’.
Murtough explained Ten Hag was the candidate ‘most closely aligned with the identity and aims of Manchester United,’ underlining his commitment to attacking football and developing young players.
‘He showed passion, energy and enthusiasm for the challenge,’ Murtough told a meeting of the club’s Fans’ Forum, adding the former Ajax boss is a ‘proven winner’.
He also pleaded for fans to show patience with the new boss as he seeks to lift the club from their current malaise.
United are coming off the back of a fifth consecutive season without a trophy where they finished with their worst Premier League points haul in the Premier League era.
Overseeing the rebuild, ten Hag has enlisted Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as his assistant coaches with a number of changes made behind the scenes in a bid to overhaul their recruitment strategy.
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