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Ajax ‘will join Ten Hag’ as new Man United boss is warned against being ‘too Dutch’

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Manchester United will complete the transfer of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber this summer, talkSPORT has been told.

Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan is sure the 20-year-old centre-back will reunite with Erik ten Hag despite suggestions Timber could stay on at the Eredivisie champions.

Ten Hag’s first signing as Man United boss could be from his old club

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Ten Hag’s first signing as Man United boss could be from his old club

Van der Kraan added that Timber’s arrival could lead to the Premier League side adopting a style similar to rivals Manchester City.

“I’m absolutely convinced he’s going to get Timber in at Manchester United,” he told talkSPORT. “I know the player said he has to think about leaving Ajax… I think it was all political talk.

“I think he’s already made his mind up and he will join Ten Hag.”

Despite his young age, Timber, under Ten Haag, made more passes (2,267), made more tackles (73), completed more take-ons (28) and kept more clean sheets (16) than any other centre-back in the Eredivisie in the 2021/22 season.

“He’ll be a really important player for Ten Hag because he can change the build-up from the back. He can change the style.

“If you look at when Rio Ferdinand joined, he was a footballing central defender. Ten Hag will never play with two Harry Maguires. He will want to have a real footballing player in central defence to start the build-up.


Timber was a key player for Ten Hag in Ajax’s title-winning season

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Timber was a key player for Ten Hag in Ajax’s title-winning season

“Ten Hag will want to play on the half of opponents, just like Pep Guardiola. He’s a massive fan of Pep. I would almost think that there will be two teams with the same playing style in Manchester.”

A mammoth task awaits new Red Devils boss Ten Hag, who takes over a Manchester United side that hasn’t won the Premier League in nine years and lasted tasted silverware in 2017.

Ten Hag has also been warned against falling into the same trap of being ‘too Dutch’, like former Man United boss Louis van Gaal.

“I think Ten Hag will have to adapt,” Van der Kraan added. “That’s been my main objection to Dutch managers going to England – you don’t know what the Premier League is about until you get there.

“I think every continental manager who’s never played in England gets a culture shock once he gets there.

“That has been the problem for Louis van Gaal as well. Louis van Gaal’s a great coach, he’s got loads of funny habits and he has a very outspoken Dutch way of dealing with the media.

Van Gaal has achieved a lot as a manager but couldn’t crack things at Man United. There were some entertaining moments in his two years at Old Trafford though

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Van Gaal has achieved a lot as a manager but couldn’t crack things at Man United. There were some entertaining moments in his two years at Old Trafford though

“He’s a good coach but he wasn’t the right man for Manchester United. He wanted to be too Dutch but you can’t be too Dutch.

“I hope Erik ten Hag has learned from that and he’s seen that and he will adapt easier.”



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