Erik Ten Hag had a good debut season at Manchester United and is gearing up for the FA Cup final this weekend.
But it will not prevent the Red Devils’ manager from conducting another team revamp during the summer transfer window. Ten Hag could wind up getting at least four new players who would slot immediately into his starting lineup if he is able to sign his major targets.
Several areas of vulnerability have emerged over the campaign, not least in defense and upfront. Ten Hag will almost certainly prioritize those two positions as soon as the window opens, with Harry Kane at the top of his shopping list.
Only Erling Haaland scored more Premier League goals for Tottenham this season than Kane. He is well on his way to beating Alan Shearer’s record for most goals scored in the Premier League.
However, his incredible record in front of goal has not been matched by prize success. And, with his contract expiring in a year, the situation appears to be perfect for United to make a move.
If such a deal is completed, Kane would immediately slot into Ten Hag’s system as a center-forward. He would undoubtedly be a significant upgrade over Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial, transforming United into a perennial trophy challenger.
There could also be a significant shift at the other end of the pitch, as David de Gea has yet to sign a new contract. Ten Hag is expected to recruit a new goalkeeper after the Spaniard’s current contract expires at the end of the season.
This might come in the form of Diogo Costa, who is scheduled to leave Porto this summer. Costa has been a standout in Portugal, and United recently sent scouts to watch him in action.
Costa would not be the only defensive change, as a new right-back is also expected to be signed. Ten Hag’s biggest objective appears to be Jeremie Frimpong, with the Bayer Leverkusen player drawing closer to a move to Old Trafford.
Ten Hag could keep Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane as his first-choice center-back pairing, given that United have been mainly strong in defense when able to select their best starting.
Luke Shaw impressed as an emergency center-back, but he should be allowed to thrive at left-back. United have looked their best in midfield with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, and Ten Hag is likely to stick with that duo.
There could be changes in the future, with Mason Mount appearing to be Ten Hag’s major goal. Mount appears to be on his way out of Chelsea, with Manchester United one of the frontrunners to recruit the England international.
If this occurs, it could result in a tactical shift, with Mount replacing Casemiro and Eriksen in central midfield. Bruno Fernandes would then be given free reigns in attacking midfield.
Marcus Rashford’s assignment would change slightly as a result, and he would then join Kane in leading the line. Rashford was United’s top scorer this season and would form a fantastic combo with England captain Wayne Rooney.