Manchester United chiefs have attempted to distract their disgruntled fanbase from Tuesday’s shambolic 4-0 defeat to Liverpool by confirming Erik ten Hag as the club’s new first-team manager. In a statement posted on the club’s website on Thursday morning, United confirmed that the Dutchman will replace Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season on a three-year contract, with an option to extend for a fourth.
As expected, that means ten Hag will see out the season at Ajax, who are currently four points clear at the top of the Eredivisie with five games left to play. Should they hold on, it would seal their second consecutive Dutch title, and third since ten Hag took charge in 2017. Quoted on the United website, ten Hag assured Ajax supporters that his mind wouldn’t be wandering from the task in hand:
It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve. It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.
United director of football John Murtough added more of the usual platitudes, stating that the club’s chiefs had been “deeply impressed by his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that.”