For years now it was obvious that Manchester United needed a proper no.6 to come in and provide some much-needed defensive cover.
However, when Ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford, he made Frenkie de Jong his main target. The Dutchman is a quality player, but he isn’t your traditional defensive midfielder.
Despite the interest in De Jong, though, Manchester United have since signed Casemiro, who is a pure DM.
This begs the question, do Manchester United still want to bring in a De Jong-type player and, if they have gone from De Jong the Casemiro, do they really know what they want?
Well, on Manchester United signing another midfielder, Ten Hag had this to say:
“I think when you want to be – I know in this moment we are not the world’s top [team], that is clear – but the intention always has to be for Man United to look for better,” he said.
“So, good is not good enough, always go for better.”
And, on swapping De Jong for Casemiro, he added:
“We have a list. We have options,” Ten Hag said of the shift in midfield target. “He was always on it but we didn’t know he would become available. In the moment that we got signals, we were proactive and we got it done and we are really happy about that.
“He is the cement between the stones, he can lead other players really well because he is a leader, he is a very good strategist and he can play a ball as well and he wins challenges.
“So he brings a lot into a game and he will help us. In between he will be the link, a really important role and I am really happy to have that role occupied in the squad.
“We have many options there now with Fred and Scott (McTominay). We have Casemiro, Christian (Eriksen), Bruno (Fernandes), Donny (van de Beek). So we have options there on how we can balance the midfield, yeah.”