‘World-class’, Ex-Man Utd coach gives verdict on Erik ten Hag’s three summer transfers

2 minute read

Manchester United

Rene Muelensteen spoke to ManchesterWorld about the arrivals of Mason Mount, Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund this window.

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has said Rasmus Hojlund has the potential to be ‘world class’ if he continues on the ‘right track’.

The striker was unveiled as the club’s third summer signing last week, following the arrivals of Mason Mount and Andre Onana earlier in the window. Hojlund, who is currently injured and will miss the start of the season, is viewed by United as a long-term signing, and there’s hope he will go on to become one of the world’s best strikers.

It also breaks the habit of United buying experienced centre forwards such as Zlatan Ibramhimovic, Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, and Hojlund will be given the chance to develop slowly at Old Trafford.

For Meulensteen, who worked as a coach at United for 12 years and was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s senior set-up from 2007-2013, he believes Hojlund’s transfer is the sort of signing the Red Devils were renowned for making during the Scotsman’s time at Old Trafford.

“I think he [Erik ten Hag] has made some really good signings. I know Onana from Ajax and he’s got a few players he worked with at Ajax,” Meulensteen exclusively told ManchesterWorld, ahead of the launch of his new autobiography, United, Sir Alex and Me: My life in football.

“Mount is bought, I think, with an eye to the future, with [Christian] Eriksen and Casemiro a bit older, but can still contribute now and knows what the league is about. Then Hojlund is an extremely exciting signing and hopefully he can hit the ground running.

“He’s not the finished article, but he’s the sort of player United are known for - he has potential and they make him into an absolutely world-class player. He has the features to do that. He’s on the right track and I hope he can carry on.”

After a successful first season at Old Trafford, Meulensteen expects Ten Hag to continue implementing his tactical philosophy at United this term. However, the 59-year-old has warned his fellow Dutchman that the Red Devils must cut out the sort of in-game capitulations that were seen too often last season, particularly in trips to the Etihad and Anfield.

Rene Meulensteen spent 12 years as a Manchester United coach.Rene Meulensteen spent 12 years as a Manchester United coach.

Rene Meulensteen spent 12 years as a Manchester United coach.

“With Erik, that’s someone who has established with Ajax, a massive club. He has done well in Europe and has a distinctive style of play, how he wants to play. We’ve seen snippets of that. I’m sure that is something he will reflect on and adapt.

“Hopefully it won’t happen as many times this year that they don’t perform to the level and last season they lost in a manner where they didn’t really show up. That needs to be addressed.

“I think Erik can look back on a good season for himself - he won a trophy and was in another final, which he lost to [Manchester] City and they finished third and are back in the Champions League,” he added. “That’s ok and that’s great for Erik, but for United, it is no more than an ok season. United want to be snapping at the heels of Manchester City and going for the title again.”