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Dutch gold isn’t always a guarantee of success

Erik ten Hag wants Frenkie de Jong to inspire an Old Trafford revival but they should be wary

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New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

Of all the mistakes Manchester United have made in the transfer market since Alex Ferguson retired nine years ago, few dealings have tended to elicit as much regret internally as the summers of 2014 and 2015, when the club placed their faith in their straight-talking Dutch manager and paid a heavy price.

From Robert Lewandowski, Neymar and Thomas Muller to Sadio Mane, N’Golo Kante and Sergio Ramos, Louis van Gaal has been unafraid to reel off the list of players he wanted to bring to Old Trafford but less willing to reflect on the litany of flops he ended up buying.


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