Four Dutchmen with Manchester United connections who could join Ten Hag's Old Trafford coaching staff

Erik ten Hag is the current favourite to land the Manchester United manager job after he took an interview with the club earlier this week, The Telegraph reports.

There has been some speculation over who join his coaching staff. The Mail had reported Ten Hag wanted to bring Ajax assistant Mitchell van der Gaag along with him.

There is also talk he could hire an assistant with United connections. Rio Ferdinand has laughed off suggestions it may be him. Instead The Times claims: “It is also likely that he would bring in a Dutch coach who has a bond with United.£

So who could this be? Well, there are four very interesting names who all would have something unique to offer to Ten Hag and United…

Robin van Persie

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Even if Van Persie’s spell at United was brief, he achieved plenty, winning the Premier League title and a Golden Boot in his first season at Old Trafford.

Since retiring in 2019, Van Persie has worked occasionally as a pundit for BT Sport, and has taken up coaching at Feyenoord, first working as a striker’s coach, then with the under-16s.

Van Persie’s punditry work has always come across as shrewd and well reasoned, and he would likely be a valuable voice of reason for Ten Hag to lean on, providing they can set aside any Ajax-Feyenoord rivalry they may have.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

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Ruud van Nistelrooy still holds up as one of the greatest out and out strikers Manchester United have ever had.

Last summer he was seen at Euro 2020 on the Netherlands coaching staff, and he has since taken up a position coaching PSV Eindhoven’s academy.

The Mail reported this week he is being lined up as future PSV boss, but if he fancies a detour via Old Trafford to pick up even more experience, an offer could well tempt him. He would command instant respect, and even if just for a season or two, it would be great to see him link up on the training pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo once again.

Jaap Stam

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Former centre-back Jaap Stam has held a handful of management jobs and may have reached his limit. A spell at Reading started brightly and trailed off, while his last spell in MLS with FC Cincinnati did not go well.

A chance to reset and work under Ten Hag as assistant may be exactly what the former defender needs, and he could teach the club’s defenders a thing or two.

In and interview with The Michael Anthony Show in January, Stam questioned whether the current squad have enough aggression and belief in themselves, and also called out the decision to spend £80 million on Harry Maguire.

Stam said: “I think Wes Brown was quicker and faster than him. He was more mobile too in 1v1’s in big spaces. When you play for United you need to be able to defend 1v1s in big spaces.

“Sometimes he needs to play a little bit more simple. In his way of thinking as well. I really think that the players in front of him can help him out.”

If fans want anger and a scary face on the touchline to make the players fearful, then Stam is your man.

Rene Meulensteen

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The option who is not a former player, Rene Meulensteen could be the most popular option of all four.

Meulensteen worked as coach under Sir Alex Ferguson, before David Moyes controversially made the decision to axe him and bring in his own staff, which did not end well.

Speaking to De Telegraaf earlier this year Meulensteen said: “The worst part is that United have completely lost their identity. Everything Ferguson had built up over the years has been thrown overboard. United had their own way of playing, they played in an attractive, creative way. But that recognisable United football is gone.”

Bringing Meulensteen back to United could be a masterstroke, and his experience in the role would make him a smarter hire than any of the ex-players, whose credentials are unproven.

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