Erik ten Hag hints at Mason Mount's Man Utd change & reveals aim for five youngsters

Erik ten Hag was asked about Mason Mount before Manchester United played Leeds United.Erik ten Hag was asked about Mason Mount before Manchester United played Leeds United.
Erik ten Hag was asked about Mason Mount before Manchester United played Leeds United. | Manchester United via Getty Imag
Erik ten Hag spoke about Mason Mount's role in the Manchester United team ahead of the first pre-season friendly of the summer.

Erik ten Hag has hinted Mason Mount will play more of a box-to-box midfield role at Manchester United, following his arrival from Chelsea.

The 24-year-old, who is United’s only summer signing so far, was officially confirmed as a Red Devil last week and adds greater depth to Ten Hag’s midfield ranks. Bruno Fernandes was the club’s only reliable no.10 last season, and the Portugal international missed just three matches all campaign. Donny van de Beek is another option, but he failed to impress in his rare performances last term.

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Mount, who has predominantly played off the striker in his career, is expected to provide additional options in that role, but Ten Hag implied the new recruit will play in a slightly deeper position this term, with United identifying the need for more ‘dynamism’ in the middle.

“I’m sure he will contribute to the success of Man United because he is a quality player,” the Dutchman told MUTV ahead of the Red Devils’ first pre-season match of the summer, against Leeds United. 

“His ambition is to play offensive but also he wants to be multi-functional, to be complete. When you are playing in midfield you have to attack, but you also have to defend. I am sure he will bring dynamism into our game. That is one of analysis and conclusions we made - we need more dynamism in the midfield."

Mount was selected to start against Leeds and Ten Hag admitted it’s important to have a new signing available for the whole of pre-season. “You always hope as a manager that you have the players in the first moment because then across the pre-season you can work on routines and our way of play,” claimed the United boss.

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Ten Hag also named several youngsters in his starting XI to face Leeds, including Alvaro Fernandez, Kobbie Mainoo, Hannibal, Amad and Omari Forson. The ex-Ajax manager said the quintet have an opportunity to impress him this summer and try and force their way into his plans for the campaign.

“This is their moment,” revealed Ten Hag. “We have to improve the squad - you can do it with players from transfers but also players who are across the whole youth academy at Man United.

“Man United is famous about bringing young kids to play in the first team. Last year, [Alejandro] Garnacho, he made it. I always hope for a minimum of one player who can go into our squad and make minutes and compete for a starting Xi position.”

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