Erik ten Hag demonstrated a willingness to nurture young players at Ajax, and he might look to Manchester United’s star prospects in the academy to help the team out of its current plight. The senior players have performed horribly, and the Red Devils have lost both of their opening two Premier League games under Ten Hag. In an effort to reenergize his team, Ten Hag could therefore turn to a few of the club’s young players, especially given the lack of transfer activity. Express Sport examines the young athletes that the Dutchman might use.
Box-to-box midfielder Zidane Iqbal caught the attention of Ten Hag during the pre-season. A couple of excellent performances during the club’s tour of Asia will have proved that the 19-year-old can cope at the senior level.
Already a senior international with Iraq, Iqbal trains with United’s first team. He made his professional debut under Ralf Rangnick in the Champions League last season.
The son of former Wales international Robbie, Charlie Savage was another player who impressed Ten Hag during pre-season. But like Iqbal, Savage is yet to make the bench in either of United’s two Premier League fixtures this season.
United fought off competition from Juventus and Atletico Madrid to keep the highly-rated Garnacho in the summer. The 18-year-old has already been called up by Argentina’s senior team amid an international allegiance battle with Spain.
There was a point when it seemed that James Garner would develop into a regular starter in midfield. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed the 21-year-old his debut in February 2019.
Garner’s development during a frustrating loan at Watford, but he has since kicked on following a successful temporary stay at Nottingham Forest.