Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been impressed by his quartet of attacking players at the club this summer, suggesting that his squad has the weapons to cause some problems in the Premier League and beyond during the 2022/23 season. United have played three pre-season matches so far this summer, winning all of them and playing their fourth on Saturday.
Anthony Martial is the top scorer of pre-season so far, scoring a goal in each of the matches where United have so far beaten Liverpool 4-0, Melbourne Victory 4-1 and Crystal Palace 3-1. Both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have scored two goals each, which show the talent Ten Hag has in his squad ahead of the new season.
Bruno Fernandes has yet to score in pre-season but despite what his haters will say, he has had a positive impact and still have a great record at the club, despite losing his form last season around the time Ole Gunnar Solskjær was sacked as the manager. But now, each player has a clean slate and will be seeking to impress and lead United into a new era.
United face Aston Villa in their final pre-season match in Australia on Saturday before flying back to Europe where they will be two more matches; Atletico Madrid at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo and Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford in Manchester. Ahead of Saturday’s match, Erik ten Hag was asked about his attacking quartet. The Dutchman said:
“You see they connect really good together and I think when you see that, you are lucky as a manager. The team is lucky. We have a threat, we have weapons. We have to improve that every day and develop that further.”
You can see by the quality of the three performances so far that this attacking quartet of players has something to prove this coming season. They have all played well, in particularly Martial, who seemed to be on his way out of the club earlier in the summer only to turn that around and start pre-season brightly, looking hungry and ready to earn his stripes.
United have so far made three new signings this summer with Tyrell Malacia with the pre-season squad but Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez are in Manchester, with the latter not having completed his signing for the club because of the wait for a work permit. Ten Hag is looking forward to seeing his new additions in the squad.
Ten Hag would also like to sign Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, but there are problems with that deal at this time with the player owed £17 million in deferred wages and the fact he is on Barcelona’s pre-season tour in the United States of America. But with Eriksen joining the squad, United’s attack could become even more potent.
The 2022/23 season is going to be a tough one for United, especially after their poorest season in the Premier League which came last season. Big changes will be needed from this squad and they will need to put in 100% in each an every match with no hiding on or off the pitch at any point. But United’s pre-season form has given the squad some inspiration.
Written by John Walker