Erik ten Hag Accepts Manchester United Changes After Brentford Capitulation

Significant Manchester United changes are likely as new manager Erik ten Hag has accepted that the club cannot rely on existing players. According to Jason Burt of The Telegraph, the recent embarrassment away to Brentford was enough reason for the Dutchman to require a significant overhaul.

All About Potential Manchester United Changes

Why Are Changes Necessary?

Changes are increasingly necessary for a few reasons. The first is that the Red Devils can no longer rely on players such as Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese star walked off the pitch without acknowledging his manager after the hammering. Meanwhile, the multiple Ballon d’Or winner is looking at his options away from Old Trafford, with an interest in playing Champions League football. Such an important cog in the Carrington machine seeking an exit is likely causing issues behind the scenes.

Outside the dressing room, performances are just as dire. Losing at home to Brighton & Hove Albion for the first time ever was a poor start to the season, and following that result up with a 4-0 loss to Brentford is just as embarrassing. Without urgent changes to improve results, the club could entirely lose European football next season.

What Needs to Change?

One of the squad’s main weaknesses is in midfield. The ongoing pursuits of both Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie De Jong prove that the club know it too. Whilst previously the club may have agreed on one of the two deals, a swoop for both may become a necessity.

Furthermore, Manchester United need changes at the top of the pitch. With Ronaldo considering leaving and no clear striking alternative fit, recruitment is essential. Bringing in a striker with the potential to grow, without being a big name that affects the dressing room or overrules the manager, is an ideal way of getting goals into the side without rocking the boat. Cody Gakpo could be the ideal player for this role.

Where Could Manchester United go wrong?

As with any transfer window at Old Trafford, there is a lot of potential for mistakes. The first of the errors, albeit controversial, would be retaining Ronaldo. A huge weight on the wage bill and a potentially dangerous character to have in a fractured squad, keeping an angry Ronaldo runs the risk of worsening morale at the club. Of course, the Portuguese striker brings goals, but ten Hag’s job will be to consider the cost of keeping him.

Signing the wrong players is another potential risk for Manchester United. The Red Devils’ existing targets demonstrate that the club is not learning the lessons of Alexis Sanchez, Edinson Cavani and arguably Cristiano Ronaldo. Buying older players can bring you goals and short-term performances, but it’s no way to build a long-term culture at a football club. The Red Devils need stability, and signing young players without baggage is the ideal way of fostering that.