Ten Hag's 5 worst signings as Manchester United manager
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Ten Hag's 5 worst signings as Manchester United manager

11/05/24 19:16

During his two years so far as Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag has made a whopping 16 transfers, both permanent deals and loans. Unfortunately for ten Hag, some of the more prolific signings have not worked out for the best. I’ve taken a look at all 16 signings and put together my ‘Top 5 worst transfers’ in the ten Hag era.

1. Antony

This likely comes in as no surprise at all, signing players from your former club is always a risky move for any manager, and in this case it has been nothing short of a disaster. Putting performances aside for a moment, everything about this transfer was baffling to begin with. From reports suggesting United scouts initially valued the Brazilian at £25m during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, to then being unwilling to go above Ajax’s £60m asking price in the 2022 summer transfer window despite pressure from ten Hag, before desperation led to shelling out an £86m fee.

So for a figure that large and given that ten Hag had pushed so hard for the move, you would expect more than a measly five goals and three assists across 53 Premier League matches. Entering matchweek 37 of the 2023-24 season, Antony has just one league goal and one assist. Despite no shortage of minutes, he simply has not come close to living up to that price tag.

2. Casemiro

Antony’s compatriot comes in at number two after a disappointing season from the midfielder. Bought from Real Madrid for £70m, this already raised questions because you have to wonder; if Real Madrid are selling, is it really worth buying?

Now to give credit where it’s due, his first season at the club was positive, including a goal in the Carabao Cup final to seal the win. However this year he has looked like a player far past his best, to put it simply he just does not have the legs to play at a high level anymore. With three years left on his contract, United have to pray that an offer from the Saudi league will be on the horizon.

3. Mason Mount

In my opinion, the jury is still out for Mount. It’s tough to call someone a bad signing when injuries have plagued their season, however availability is sometimes the best ability and that is something that Mount has not had this season. Making just 19 appearances in all competitions since joining from Chelsea for £55m last summer, things are not looking good. The opportunity is there for Mount to form a promising midfield trio alongside rising star Kobbie Mainoo and captain Bruno Fernandes, but time will tell if Mount can stay fit enough to take it. For now, this transfer looks like a massive failure.

4. Sofyan Amarabat

Following Morocco’s impressive performance at the 2022 World Cup, with Amarabat a large contributor, his move to Manchester United was heavily pushed for and at the time there was a lot of excitement for it. Since it happened in the form of a £8.6m loan deal with a £17.1m option to buy, it has been nothing but a disappointment. Amarabat has made 18 appearances for United and to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find anything of real value he’s contributed. With no goals, no assists and not even a memorable performance to his name, it’s safe to say this is another move that has not worked out for ten Hag.

5. Wout Weghorst

Closing out our list is the ex-Burnley striker who joined on loan amidst, believe it or not, a title challenge for ten Hag’s men. While it may have always seemed they were lightyears behind eventual champions Manchester City and runners up Arsenal in the 2022-23 season, they were for a time at least mathematically well within the race. With goals primarily coming from Marcus Rashford alone, ten Hag looked to the January transfer window to pick up a goalscorer and who did he find but… Weghorst?

Making 17 appearances for the club in the Premier League, he failed to score a single goal and managed just one assist. Ultimately it was a rather brief and very forgettable loan deal, but certainly not one that worked out for ten Hag.

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