The previous few days have seen an increase in the pace of negotiations between Manchester United and Barcelona regarding the acquisition of De Jong for approximately £56 million plus add-ons. Erik ten Hag getting his priority buy this summer is becoming more possible, but the success of the move will depend on how well his abilities are utilized, and he will have the ideal management to do that.
The now 25-year-old midfielder saw extensive action at Ajax during Ten Hag’s leadership. He was frequently used in a double pivot with a teammate as a deep-lying playmaker. Alongside the current Juventus player Matthijs de Ligt, he frequently played center defense as well.
We’ve seen United line up with Fred and Scott McTominay in a midfield pivot in recent seasons. The Reds have frequently struggled to break down low defensive blocks against opponents who look to counterattack as a result of their limitations when creating attacks and releasing the ball into the final third. De Jong could be a crucial element in resolving this pressing issue as he was frequently the glue that gelled Ajax’s attacks together for Ten Hag.
The best part of his game was taken away from him in Barcelona because he wasn’t allowed to get up the pitch, and his defensive shortcomings were on full display. Ten Hag, who is currently the manager of United, was fully aware of this and spoke out in support of De Jong after the midfielder departed Ajax.
De Jong is Ten Hag’s top pick for midfield this summer, and it’s easy to see why. His capacity to link up with talented players like Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes while carrying the ball forward into the opposing half may hold the key to a new and improved Manchester United lineup for the upcoming season.