Erik ten Hag says he is looking forward to working with Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire as he begins work as Manchester United manager.
Ten Hag has officially started his role as the new manager at Old Trafford and was in attendance as the Red Devils’ season concluded with a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Ten Hag is famed for playing a high-pressing, attacking game, with there having been suggestions that he Cristiano Ronaldo may not be part of his plans given his the 37-year-old’s own style of play.
Speaking at his first press conference though, the Dutchman said he is eagerly anticipating the prospect of working with Cristiano Ronaldo next season – who finished this season as United’s leading goalscorer.
“Of course,” he said when asked if he was looking forward to working with the Portugal captain.
Asked what he expects Ronaldo would bring to his side, a smiling Ten Hag quickly replied: “Goals.”
He was asked if the Portuguese would need to bring more leadership to the side, though the new United boss refused to open up to the media on this suggestion: “I [will] talk first with Ronaldo before I talk with you,” he said.
Ten Hag refused to confirm whether Harry Maguire would continue as captain after a difficult season for the England international, but praised the centre-back as a ‘great player’.
“I have to repeat, next season is a different season,” he said. “He’s done a good job, he’s a great player, he’s achieved a lot and his contribution to Manchester United, so I’m looking forward to working with him.”
United have confirmed the arrivals of Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as part of Ten Hag’s backroom staff and the Dutchman spoke on his reason for bringing the pair to Old Trafford.
“They both know how to get success. They have both won titles and trophies in their careers and that’s why they’re here.”