Could Erik ten Hag replace Harry Maguire?
Former Dutch footballer Jan van Halst has urged Erik ten Hag to replace Harry Maguire with Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt if he takes charge of Manchester United.
The Red Devils’ hunt for a new permanent manager appears to be nearing an end. If reports are to be believed, Ajax coach Ten Hag will take the reins at Old Trafford ahead of the 2022-23 season.
With Ten Hag seemingly on his way to England, Manchester United are now expected to turn their attention towards strengthening their squad. The Premier League giants have already been linked with a host of Ajax stars, including Brazilian winger Antony.
However, Van Halst wants Ten Hag to make finding a replacement for Maguire his top priority after joining Manchester United. The former Ajax midfielder has identified Juventus centre-back De Ligt as the ideal replacement for the Englishman.
Van Halst is of the view that De Ligt will be a success at Old Trafford under Ten Hag as he already knows the coach from his time at Ajax. However, he admitted that the 22-year-old is prone to the odd error. He told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sports [via Voetbal Primeur]:
“If you are looking for a replacement for Maguire, because he will be the first to be taken out [by Ten Hag], I immediately think of Matthijs de Ligt. He knows Ten Hag, is constructively good. [He] still makes his mistakes defensively, but that’s a lot in terms of communication. Then a man makes a run behind his back because the coordination [with other defenders] is not good, but he never had that at Ajax. There was clarity.”
Maguire currently wears the armband for Manchester United. It remains to be seen if Ten Hag has plans to replace him once his move to the Red Devils becomes official.
Could Manchester United sign De Ligt?
The Red Devils signed Maguire from Leicester City for around £80 million. While the defender has gone on to become the team’s captain, he has been the subject of a lot of criticism this season.
Maguire has played 34 matches across all competitions for the Old Trafford outfit this campaign. However, his performances have been deemed to be not good enough, with many fans wanting him out of the club.
Meanwhile, De Ligt has a contract with Juventus until the end of the 2023-24 season. The Netherlands international has also made 37 appearances across all competitions for the Bianconeri.
However, there have been suggestions that De Ligt could leave the Serie A giants in the summer. It is unclear whether the Red Devils will be interested in a move for the Dutchman if he becomes available.