Rene Meulensteen has outlined the areas of Erik ten Hag’s squad in need of reinforcement, with particular focus on a long-term target: Frenkie de Jong.
Speaking to Official Scandinavian Supporter’s Club, the former Man United coach went into detail on how he sees the club’s current recruitment needs.
Meulensteen insists that Frenkie de Jong is the perfect player for Erik ten Hag, saying, “They need a really good midfield player. Yes, they’ve got Casemiro in there. You’ve got Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes – a lot of experience, a lot of qualities – but there’s also a little bit of a vulnerability because their mindsets are predominantly in going forward.
“I would 100% do everything to get De Jong. He’s got energy, he’s got legs, he’s tactically very, very good in the build-up.
“For De Jong, I think to be fairly honest, he would have already been here if he had not been happy at Barcelona. But he’s obviously very happy playing for Barcelona otherwise he would have said, “Okay, no problem, sort me out” because there’s always a way to fill that financial gap. That can never be the reason. But I can see why Ten Hag is chasing him.”
But the rebuild does not stop there, with Meulensteen believing that David de Gea needs replacing.
“I think the goalkeeper situation is one he needs to start addressing,” he said. “I really like David de Gea, I’ve obviously worked with him myself, lot of experience, done fantastically well. People are judging him sometimes because the mistakes that he’s made in this season in certain games are so much unlike him – which you have to ask the question: why is that?
“That could be because sometimes you can get a bit stale, sometimes you need a new environment or to freshen things up. But that’s an area we need to look at, with somebody that has the capabilities to handle the Premier League and is very good with his feet, because that becomes more and more important.”
It is not just De Gea, with the Dutchman adding, “I still think the back-line needs to be addressed.
“It’s very clear that he fancies Lisandro Martinez – which obviously is good because he’s been a fantastic defender so far, he’s a winner, he’s a competitor. In the left-back position he’s got a few options there, obviously he’s got Luke Shaw there.
“On the right-hand side he’s played a lot of Raphael Varane but he’s obviously older, getting on. Experienced, serial winner, knows what it is – he’s important in that respect, Varane and Casemiro are the two players that bring that ingredient into the club – but very injury prone, so I would also look for another one,” he said, referring to another centre half.
“I don’t think Harry Maguire is the answer, and if I was Harry I would myself look for somewhere else,” Meulensteen added. Maguire is expected to move in the summer, and with players such as Napoli’s Kim Min-Jae linked, it would appear that Man United are looking to freshen up their central defensive options.
The ex-United coach remains unconvinced by Ten Hag’s options at right back options, believing both are two one-dimensional to continue as first choice in the long run.
“The right-hand side with Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot, two completely different right-backs: one gives far more going forward, the other is very good at defending,” he said. “But at this moment in time you need ‘and-and players’ that can do both.”
One player heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks is Bayern Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong, but Meulensteen is as yet unsure if he is the right fit for United.
“He’s a good player, but playing for Manchester United . . . I don’t know him well enough to make a direct assessment to say he’d fit perfectly, I’d need to see more of him. The key with players coming into Manchester United is they have to produce that quality.”
Along with a midfielder, a goalkeeper, a centre-back, and a right-back, one would assume that a striker is necessity, which leaves plenty of work to do for whoever the club bosses are in the summer.
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Courtesy : https://thepeoplesperson.com/2023/05/19/rene-meulensteen-outlines-manchester-uniteds-recruitment-needs-264180/