'Man Utd need better players!' - impatient Erik ten Hag issues urgent transfer demand to boardroom after Champions League secured
- Man Utd beat Chelsea 4-1
- Secured Champions League qualification
- Ten Hag emphasised need for "better players"
WHAT HAPPENED? Ten Hag insisted that the club needs to bring in "better players" to have a credible shot at the title in the upcoming season. United secured their place in the Champions League with an impressive 4-1 victory over Chelsea in their penultimate Premier League match.
This win propelled them to third place, potentially marking only their fourth top-three finish in the last decade if they can secure a victory against Fulham on Sunday.
However, Ten Hag stressed the importance of reinforcing the squad in the summer transfer window and is eager to add a striker, a midfielder, and at least one defender to the squad. In discussing the team's aspirations, Ten Hag acknowledged the difficulty of the competition in the Premier League, particularly with Manchester City displaying outstanding football.
While he recognised the progress made and the positive direction of the team, he believes there is still work to be done.
WHAT THEY SAID: "It's difficult to say in this moment, you have to see now how you come out of the transfer window but if I see now we need more. But I don't have so much patience, that is one of my mistakes," he told reporters after beating Chelsea.
"We want to win every game but also, as I just tried to explain, it's tough here, there are really good teams, especially this season. Manchester City are playing really outstanding football. We have a way to go, we are in the right direction, we have work to do, so a work in progress.
"I think in this league, that's a good base to be in the top four but, yeah, we want to compete for the title. Now we are far away, so we have a lot of work to do, we've made progress with this team, with this squad but we need better players if we want to compete for the highest."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ten Hag acknowledged that finishing in the top four of the Premier League is considered an achievement, akin to a trophy. However, he will not settle for that and aims to compete for the title. He believes that assessing the squad at the end of the transfer window will provide a more unambiguous indication of the team's realistic chances.
United are expected to have a busy summer transfer window as they have linked with several high-profile players, including Neymar, Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Mason Mount and Declan Rice.
"It (the target) has to be realistic and you can first say when you have your squad at the end of the transfer window and also the winter transfer window that you can do, the squad is there and you can make a statement about if it's realistic or not," he added.
"I think in the Premier League, yeah, it (top four) is something like [a trophy], it's the main objective of the season to get in the Champions League, so therefore you have to see yourself in the top four. The competition is tough, there are many teams with really good squads, good managers, so when you are in there, you did a good job and your team is playing well and performing well and for this moment, this is the maximum but we want more."
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Manchester United's focus will now shift to the transfer window as they look to strengthen their squad, bringing in new players - as well as selling those deemed surplus to requirements - to elevate their standards and meet the demands of challenging for top honours.