Erik ten Hag explains Jack Butland transfer decision ahead of Man Utd vs Everton in the FA Cup

The Crystal Palace goalkeeper is expected to sign for Manchester United on loan until the end of the season.

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Erik ten Hag has explained why he has decided to bring Jack Butland to Manchester United for the remainder of the season.

It’s been widely reported the Crystal Palace goalkeeper is set to join the Red Devils on loan until the end of the campaign, following Newcastle United’s decision to recall Martin Dubravka to the North-East. It leaves Ten Hag with two senior goalkeepers in David de Gea and Tom Heaton, as well as youngsters  Nathan Bishop and Radek Vitek.

But speaking ahead of United’s FA Cup clash with Everton on Friday, the Dutchman revealed he wants three senior goalkeepers in his squad, a decision partly influenced by a negative experience last season at Ajax.

“Martin was recalled and in our set-up we need a squad with three experienced goalkeepers,” explained Ten Hag. “We have some young ones and they do well, but we have so many games, so you need three good goalies in training. Also when there are problems coming up, you need experience in goals to get your goals, what you are aiming for.

“What he [Butland] is bringing… I am really happy with David, that is quite clear. He is our no.1 and is performing well,” the 52-year-old added. “But something can happen to David and you have to be prepared for that and not have just one experienced [goalkeeper].

“Last season I had a situation at Ajax where I had three goalkeepers injured. You don’t want to come to a situation where, at the end of the season, you have to put in [a young keeper]. Hopefully you can play for trophies and you have to put in a young goalkeeper - you can’t expect it from the young goalkeeper but also you kill your season. That is what you have to be prepared for.”

Ten Hag was also asked in his pre-match press conference how Marcus Rashford can continue improving after he netted for a fourth consecutive game since coming back from the World Cup, when he scored late on against Bournemouth during the week.

“Keep the focus always,” he responded. “It doesn’t matter if you are in the game or not in the game, keep focusing on scoring a goal because I think - there are others, like Anthony Martial is the same - when they stay in the game, mentally focused with 100 percent concentration, they have always the skills.

“They need only one moment to change the game in a positive way. If he develops that skill he score more goals and contribute more to a successful season.”

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