United, without a trophy in five years, have turned to Ajax coach Ten Hag as they look to get back to challenging for major trophies both domestically and in Europe.
Ten Hag has guided Ajax to five trophies since 2017 and saw his side reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2019, when they were seconds away from reaching the final at the expense of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
The 52-year-old has signed a three-year deal at Old Trafford and will take over from Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
Premier League managers Guardiola, Gerrard and Arteta all reacted to Ten Hag’s imminent arrival at their pre-match press conferences on Friday.
Manchester City’s Guardiola, who mentored Ten Hag while they were both at Bayern Munich, said: ‘Congratulations to Erik and I wish him all the best.
‘He is a top-class manager and his teams are a joy to watch. Just watch his Ajax team and you see his qualities.’
Aston Villa boss and Anfield hero Gerrard, meanwhile, said: ‘Well Manchester United is a very big football club.
‘Obviously the project he’s got there, where they are at the moment, their current form, of course it’s going to be huge.
‘Obviously there’s a lot of football to be played before he comes in the door. He’s a fantastic manager, fantastic CV, obviously been very successful at Ajax.
‘I like the style, I’ve followed him for many years, I’ve seen him do really well in European competition as well.
‘Obviously it’s a very positive appointment from their point of view. But no one in Manchester will care what I say about Manchester United, as you know!’
Arsenal boss Arteta was also complimentary about Ten Hag, saying: ‘I think he’s been really good, especially with the way his teams play. What he did a couple of years ago in the Champions League [was impressive].’
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, who was heavily linked with Manchester United before he joined Spurs, was among those to react to Ten Hag’s appointment yesterday.
Conte had a warning for Ten Hag, telling reporters: ‘For sure, we are talking about a big club, an important club.
‘Don’t forget that last season United were in second place and improved the squad with [Raphael] Varane, [Jadon] Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘It’s strange but they’ve improved the squad and have done worse than last season. It shows it’s not easy, particularly in England.
‘In England it’s a big job for every manager, the level is so high. When you’re at Manchester United the pressure is massive.
‘You have to fight to win trophies. It’s not easy because other teams have the same idea.’
Before Manchester United focus entirely on Ten Hag, they must attempt to secure a top-four spot as the season draws to a close and travel to north London to face Arsenal on Saturday.
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