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Liverpool rivals watch as Erik ten Hag's bold Man Utd plan finally takes shape

Erik ten Hag is still in charge of Manchester United
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Should Liverpool fans be worried about a resurgent Manchester United this coming season?

Erik ten Hag, since his arrival at Old Trafford in 2022, has shown no fear in making bold decisions to mould the squad to his liking. He's sidelined Cristiano Ronaldo, isolated Jadon Sancho, and released David de Gea - all in the name of improving team harmony.

But it's not just the big names who've felt the Dutchman's ruthless streak. Shortly after taking over, he reportedly banished five players from the first-team dressing room to make space for his new summer signings. It was a very risky strategy by Ten Hag.

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Phil Jones, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Teden Mengi, and Shola Shoretire were allegedly told to train, eat, and change with the academy squad - a move that unsurprisingly pushed them towards the exit. Jones was the first to leave in May 2023 and chose to retire shortly thereafter at the age of 31.

Mengi, now 22, followed a few months later, signing with newly-promoted Luton Town. A week later, Tuanzebe, 26, also left, joining Ipswich Town. This left only Williams, 23, and Shoretire, 20, from the original group of ousted first-teamers. However, last month, Williams also left following the end of his contract.

The Sun reports that Shoretire could be the next young talent to leave United, having grown frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities. Despite a contract offer from the club, it's believed he won't sign, following a loan spell at Bolton last year.

Hopes that Ten Hag might be replaced this summer were quashed after he signed a new contract at Old Trafford. He was tipped for either resignation or dismissal after a season in which United suffered 19 losses across all competitions.

However, United's FA Cup victory over Manchester City provided some much-needed positivity. This marks the second trophy win in consecutive years for the Red Devils.

Liverpool.com says: United fans are buoyant at the moment after the club's FA Cup triumph and Sir Jim Ratcliffe taking charge of soccer operations. But the Manchester team still has a long way to go if it's to challenge Liverpool this coming season. Jurgen Klopp left the Reds in great shape, and Arne Slot has a great chance to hit the ground running. Bring on the new season!