What could Van Nistelrooy bring to Manchester United?
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What could Van Nistelrooy bring to Manchester United?

23/06/24 17:40

Ruud Van Nistelrooy approached by Manchester United to become part of Erik Ten Hag’s backroom staff amidst Burnley managerial links

According to Fabrizio Romano who FootballPark rate as a tier 1 source INEOS have approached Manchester United legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy to be part of Erik Ten Hag’s new staff. This gives the Dutchman an important decision to make as he is also a strong candidate to replace Vincent Kompany at Burnley with a decision expected next week.

Manchester United fans would welcome the addition of Van Nistelrooy to the coaching staff having made 219 appearances for the club between 2001 and 2006. During his five-year tenure at Old Trafford, Van Nistelrooy was a prolific goal scorer netting an impressive 150 times for the Red Devils. His goals helped United win the Premier League and FA Cup, cementing the Dutchman as one of the clubs greatest ever strikers.

With the current strikers Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund struggling to find form last season, the arrival of Van Nistelrooy could be a stroke of genius. Rashford endured a disappointing campaign with many fans questioning if the time is right for him to move on from Old Trafford. However, the status of Van Nistelrooy at Manchester United would no doubt demand respect, I would not be at all surprised if he managed to get a tune out of Rashford going into next season should he opt to join the coaching staff.

If Van Nistelrooy were to become part of Erik Ten Hags backroom staff, it could be viewed as INEOS preparing a suitable managerial replacement should Manchester United’s form not dramatically improve going into the 2024/25 season. I would not be at all surprised if Van Nistelrooy replaced Ten Hag at some point during the season should he decide to rejoin Manchester United as a coach. Van Nistelrooy has been without a job for more than a year after quitting his position at PSV Eindhoven after becoming increasingly frustrated by the club’s direction.

The interest in his services from Championship side Burnley represents an exciting opportunity and a big step in his managerial career, having not managed in England before.

The Dutchman enjoyed a successful tenure at PSV Eindhoven after being appointed in March 2022. He won the Johan Cruyff Shield in 2023 and the KNVB Cup during the 2022/23 season, before resigning with one match remaining in the Eredivisie season citing a lack of support from the board.

Van Nistelrooy has met with Claret’s owner Alan Pace to outline his plan should he succeed Vincent Kompany at Turfmoor.

During his time at PSV the former Manchester United striker developed a reputation for bringing through homegrown talent with Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo one of the most notable examples.

The Dutchman has demonstrated his ability to identify young players with reports suggesting he has provided Burnley with a database of youngsters he feels would be a perfect fit for the club.

Van Nistelrooy alters between a 4-3-3 and a 4-3-2-1 formation favouring quick and skilful wingers in attack with a solid defensive foundation. He demands his team play through the lines with quick and precise passing; he gave former PSV player Xavi Simons a free role in midfield which enabled his talent to shine through. Despite being a striker Van Nistelrooy is a competent defensive coach who studies the strengths of the opposition and goes to great lengths to nullify them.

Jarrad Branthwaite who has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United was part of an impressive defensive line at PSV which contributed to a 65%-win percentage under the Dutchman.

In possession Van Nistelrooy demands a structured approach with his players coached to focus on the principles of positional play.

He also loves his teams to create overloads in the wide areas with his wingers instructed to keep their width to enable progression through the lines. Often his PSV side enjoyed a 3v2 overload on the flanks, promising Burnley winger Wilson Odobert would flourish in this system.

Van Nistelrooy has a huge decision to make, does he go with his head or his heart? On one hand the allure of rejoining Manchester United, a place which holds such great memories for the Dutchman is difficult to ignore. However, the job at Burnley would really test the Dutchman’s abilities as a manager with the Championship one of the toughest leagues in the world. If he was to enjoy a successful tenure at Turfmoor his managerial reputation would sky rocket.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Lewis Carr

Football Writer

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