That togetherness has been evident this season and so the fans feel on the same page once again. The woeful end to the last campaign showed what can happen when disunity wreaks havoc throughout. Ten Hag has since masterfully steered the ship away from the rocks again.
This is despite the antics of Cristiano Ronaldo, who handed in a transfer request over the summer before his early exits against Rayo Vallecano and Tottenham in proceeding months. His comments about the United manager in last month&aposs controversial interview may have in actuality solved an issue for his boss.
The true results of the exit of Ronaldo and his ego will only truly be laid bare after the World Cup, but most United fans believe team camaraderie will only get stronger in his wake. So after managing to offload the veteran and his heavy cargo, the last thing Ten Hag needs is someone else coming in to rock the boat.
Ahead of Uniteds friendly against Cadiz in Spain this week, the Dutchman emphasised that he must consider the overall package before welcoming a new asset aboard, not just on-pitch quality.
He said: We looked and with football players clearly that is the first thing, the capabilities a player has. The human being behind [that] is also an important factor.
But you cant underestimate that. You need the right characters in your dressing room, not only if you want to win a game but if you want to win trophies. Ten Hag will be searching for attacking reinforcement in January upon Ronaldos departure.
One name that has been linked with an Old Trafford switch is Portugal attacker Joao Felix. The 23-year-old is enjoying a fruitful World Cup, netting once and providing two assists in his three outings.
He turned on the style in his countrys 6-1 win over Switzerland in their last 16 clash, his skilful play earning many plaudits. However, the youngsters record is not squeaky clean.
Whether it is the player himself or the result of his environment, he has kicked up a stink a number of times at Atletico Madrid. After being substituted in Septembers 2-1 loss to city rivals Real Madrid, he headed straight down the tunnel – this two years after kicking and throwing objects when taken off by Diego Simeone against Los Blancos.
And after scoring against Villarreal in March 2021, Felix was said to have told teammate Renan Lodi, now of Nottingham Forest, to shut the **** up before putting his finger to his lips after the defender told him to up his game.
After the game, Lodi responded on Instagram saying: “Don&apost get angry, you said it and you did it, we&aposre together brother. These are the type of fractions Ten Hag must avoid in his United rebuild.
The details of Felixs fallout with Atleti boss Simeone have not been clarified but its thought there is a wide rift between the two, with the attacker being used as a bench player since October. No matter who is actually in the wrong, its not a good look.
That alone wouldn&apost be the end of the world but all of the reports added together may sway Ten Hag against taking a risk on Felix with too much on the line for any further discohesion within United.
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