How Erik ten Hag could line up Manchester United XI with De Jong and Nunez
Ralf Rangnick expressed his belief that Manchester United need as many as 10 new signings this summer. Watching the team’s capitulation to Brighton, he probably wasn’t wrong.
But what if Manchester United can rebuild the team with just five new faces? If the recruitment is right, United may be able to argue ‘less is more’, with quality over quantity brought in.
Already a number of top quality players are being linked, who would give Manchester United some exciting new options.
One of these is midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who Barcelona source Gerard Romero claims is ’95 per cent’ likely to sign for Manchester United to link back up with Erik ten Hag.
Fitting de Jong in
De Jong is a player who can be the fulcrum of Manchester United’s side, and it is important to get him on the ball as much as possible.
This is why the ever-adaptable Ten Hag could look to place him in a four-man midfield at first, to harness his talents and the creative quality of Bruno Fernandes.
De Jong could be aided by his former teammate Donny van de Beek, who knows Ten Hag’s demands and his Dutch international midfield teammate’s quality.
It is a potentially winning combination, providing United also add a defensive shield into the team too, and this can be done with Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, available on a free transfer this summer.
New faces in defence and attack
With a reshaped midfield, United could still add a big name new striker and line him up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo. Step forward Darwin Nunez, who has 34 goals this season, and a better goals per game rate than Erling Haaland.
Nunez and Ronaldo could be a prolific combination, especially supported by a team which would finally be able to get a grip of midfield and play with some personality.
Improving the defence could come in two ways, with Ajax defender Jurrien Timber coming in to replace Harry Maguire, and Nordi Mukiele taking over at right-back.
BILD report Mukiele could be available from RB Leipzig for just £8.5 million due to his expiring contract, and like Kamara, this would offset some of the more expensive deals required.
Nunez and De Jong would cost around £140 million combined, with Timber, Mukiele and Kamara an extra £40 million.
United could look to offset these fees by cashing in on unwanted players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Anthony Martial and Alex Telles. Looking at the Manchester United XI with De Jong and Nunez below, it would be money well spent, as Ten Hag looks to get his first Red Devils transfer window underway and shape a team for the future.