Ten Hag told one signing can finally end Man Utd woes in two positions, but Erling Haaland warning issued

·4-min read
Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Ajax man Jurrien Timber Credit: Alamy
Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Ajax man Jurrien Timber Credit: Alamy

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has given his verdict on an Ajax star potentially moving to Old Trafford, with two of Erik ten Hag’s biggest problems to be solved.

Man Utd have raided Ajax twice since Ten Hag swapped the Dutch club for them last summer. In late July, they captured Argentine centre-back Lisandro Martinez. As per Sky Sports, he cost Man Utd £56.7million.

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Brazilian winger Antony then followed Martinez to Manchester. On September 1, Man Utd announced Antony’s arrival on a five-year contract. According to Goal, Antony cost Man Utd £85m, making him their second-most expensive signing of all time, behind Paul Pogba.

Man Utd have also been linked with current Ajax trio Brian Brobbey, Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus. Ajax have told man Utd they do not want to sell too many more of their top players so they do not leave the senior squad decimated.

However, one player who could still swap the Eredivise for the Premier League is Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber.

Last week, Timber provided a big update on his future. He revealed how his next move is ‘getting closer’, as there is ‘a lot of specific interest’ in his services.

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Liverpool are understood to be in the mix for the 21-year-old, but Man Utd will pose a serious threat. Ten Hag has a good relationship with the defender from their time working together at the Johan Cruyff Arena and could therefore convince him on a Man Utd switch instead of Liverpool.

Man Utd and Liverpool recently found out exactly how much Timber will cost. Ajax have decided they will sell once a €50m (£44m) offer arrives.

Potential Man Utd signing issued Haaland warning

Stam, who made 127 appearances for Man Utd between 1998 and 2001, believes his old club represents the ‘most logical option’ for Timber.

Stam thinks Ten Hag would benefit from Timber being able to provide competition and backup for Martinez and Raphael Varane at centre-half, as well as competing for a spot at right-back.

However, the 15-cap Netherlands international has been warned it will be a step up playing against top strikers such as Erling Haaland in the Prem.

“The big advantage of United for Timber is that he already knows Ten Hag and vice versa,” Stam said during an interview with Dutch source AD (via Sport Witness). “The intentions of the trainer are moulded to Timber, but make no mistake: this is the Premier League. There you can’t always be dominant, you have to duel much more and that against strikers like Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.

“Everyone with Lisandro Martinez was also curious about that. It turns out that he did it. With Timber, I just miss a certain amount of aggression – sometimes even being a little mean – in his game. That is also, for example, in giving the first blow before the real duels come. Martinez does. You can learn that too, but it has to be in you.

“You also have to look at combinations and chance of playing time. United can still use a [new central] defender, because Raphael Varane is prone to injury and Harry Maguire is still disappointing.

“In England I therefore see United as the most logical option. And what I would like to see more often is Timber as a right-back. There are at United, where Dalot without the ball and Wan-Bissaka on the ball don’t quite convince me yet.”

Timber would jump at the chance to join Man Utd if they manage to strike a transfer agreement with Ajax. He would want to follow in the footsteps of Martinez by making a big impact at the club after departing Ajax.

Timber would also have the opportunity to win major trophies. Man Utd lifted the Carabao Cup earlier this term, while they are also through to the FA Cup final and are poised to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Meanwhile, Man Utd have been handed a big lift amid claims a major European club have ‘cooled’ their interest in a top Ten Hag objective.

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