Manchester

Manchester United must avoid Bruno Fernandes mistake as Erik ten Hag told to change his blueprint

Sir Alex Ferguson considered complacency a disease and Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes would have been diagnosed under previous management at Old Trafford. Fernandes was guilty of complacency after signing a new lucrative contract in April.

The appointment of Erik ten Hag was not completed and Ralf Rangnick was in interim charge of the club when Fernandes' contract extension was announced. Ten Hag was officially appointed in late May and the club should have waited until his arrival in Manchester to give Fernandes a new deal. The decision to extend his contract in April did not send the right message.

That's without mentioning he was not performing well enough for a new contract and that he had three years remaining on his previous deal. Fernandes endured a disappointing campaign last season and he markedly regressed from his usual standards.

But United are now in danger of repeating the same mistake.

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Erik ten Hag certainly enjoyed a successful first transfer window at Manchester United.

Under the Dutchman's watchful eye, the Reds injected new life into their starting XI thanks to the arrivals of Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Antony and while Casemiro is yet to be fully integrated into the first team he is sure to provide the Old Trafford outfit with the world-class defensive midfielder they have so desperately lacked for some time.

The Ten Hag rebuild is well underway and the early signs have been largely positive despite disappointing losses to Brentford, Brighton and Real Sociedad. Wins over Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester and Arsenal have lifted United into fifth place in the Premier League, but perhaps more importantly they have shifted the mood and generated a much more positive atmosphere around the club.

But he must now cast his net a little wider as he plans for future transfer targets.