Who will manage Manchester United next season?
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Who will manage Manchester United next season?

23/05/24 11:02

In Erik ten Hag’s second season in charge of the club, United have taken a major step backwards: finishing bottom of their Champions League group, an eighth place Premier League finish becoming their worst ever season in the top flight and with an FA Cup final against Premier League champions Manchester City this week, it looks very unlikely they will finish with a trophy or European football next season.

So this puts even more focus onto the question highly debated in recent months, just who will be Manchester United’s manager for the 2024-25 season. Let’s take a look at my top three options of who I think will be in the position next season.

Erik ten Hag

Starting with the man who currently holds the job. As he still has one year left on his contract, unless he is sacked he will of course be returning to manage next season.

However, recent reports suggest ten Hag’s return might be leaning towards not happening. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Dutchman’s situation is being described as “open” and that even with the FA Cup final, there is no guarantee he will stay at the club should they win. Which makes sense given we saw Louis van Gaal fired not long after winning the same trophy.

The performances, attitude and statistics speak for themselves with ten Hag. After far too many lacklustre and even embarrassing performances, seemingly disengaged attitudes from some of the club’s top talent and the club’s worst ever finish including a -1 goal difference not to mention being two years in with no clear playing style or direction for the team, it’s looking unlikely to me that ten Hag will remain in the job much past this weekend.

Roberto De Zerbi

In my opinion, this should be the frontrunner should ten Hag depart this summer, now available after departing Brighton by mutual consent at the end of the season. Since arriving in the Premier League, the Italian led Brighton to their highest ever Premier League finish and securing a first European campaign for the club, before winning their Europa League group this past season, despite facing struggles in the Premier League and ultimately finishing 10th.

Now there may be concerns into some of the struggles of Brighton in the recent campaign, though you have to question how much of that was on De Zerbi and how much was on factors beyond his control. Brighton were crippled with more injuries than almost any other club, including star attackers Kaoru Mitoma and Joao Pedro missing significant time. Added to this, De Zerbi was often very vocal on his want for more support in the transfer windows, support that was not given from Brighton due to their club philosophies and is likely a significant factor in his departure.

Under all this drama and speculation is one absolute certainty: De Zerbi is a fantastic manager on the rise in European football and with the resources available at Manchester United, I would bet on him being successful. He likes to implement a free-flowing brand of attacking football that has drawn high praise from four-in-a-row Premier League winning manager Pep Guardiola, and that is quite the co-sign. With attackers like Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford, midfielders like Bruno Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo and the sure to be numerous additions in the summer, bringing in De Zerbi and his style could have Manchester United looking rejuvenated and a joy to watch next season.

Mauricio Pochettino

Despite struggling for much of the 2023-24 season with Chelsea, Pochettino finished the season by securing sixth place and Europa League football for next season, so it was somewhat surprising to see it announced that he and the club had mutually decided to part ways. Now that he is on the market again, he is almost certain to be considered for the United job should ten Hag be fired.

Pochettino has seen success implementing a quick, attack-minded brand of football, something that will of course appeal to the Manchester United higher ups. We have also seen rumours of Pochettino making his way to Old Trafford since the later stages of his Tottenham days, so this is certainly a name to watch. With INEOS at the helm now, the fact that he once met with INEOS about the Nice job is coming into question, making it an interesting option to keep an eye on.

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