Man Utd’s pursuit of Barcelona star unlikely to have Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Co quaking that the Old Trafford side are suddenly going to be back
Frenkie De Jong will be a decent signing for Manchester United if he joins the club from Barcelona this summer – but his arrival would not strike fear into the hearts of anyone at Liverpool or Manchester City.
That’s the claim of former Anfield and England striker turned Mirror Sport columnist Stan Collymore, who reckons there could well be echoes of Donny van de Beek’s disappointing move from Ajax to United if his fellow Holland star is soon picked up by new boss Erik ten Hag.
Collymore said: “ Manchester United ’s pursuit of Frenkie De Jong is completely underwhelming.
“He reminds me a bit of Martin Odegaard in the way he was trumpeted as, ‘The next big thing’, before moving to Spain and then failed to reach the heights expected of him. At least Odegaard was 16 when he joined Real Madrid, not 21, as De Jong was when he moved to Barcelona.
“Don’t get me wrong, De Jong is a good player, he has all the attributes and would be a decent addition to the squad. But I ask myself if he’s someone who will take United to the next level and the answer, frankly, is, ‘No’. Actually, he reminds me of his compatriot Donny van de Beek.
“Ajax produced a full-page farewell to Van de Beek when he joined United, saying ‘Look after him’. And Edwin van der Sar, a legend at both Ajax and United, was raving about him. Yet it didn’t happen for him at Old Trafford and I’m not sure it will for De Jong.
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“I know Van de Beek didn’t get the opportunities he deserved at United and De Jong will be given a chance by Erik ten Hag. But if I’m at Liverpool or Manchester City, then I’m certainly not going to be worrying that Manchester United look likely to sign Frenkie de Jong this summer.”
Meanwhile, former Ajax boss Ten Hag is understood to have sent an email to his new players at Old Trafford talking up the need to be fit and promising to get them in top shape provided they back his methods.
According to The Sun , a source said: “The new gaffer sent the first-team players an email, telling them that football is a team game and no individual is more important than any other. His emphasis is all on the team — despite United possessing world class stars. He wants the players to train at a higher intensity so that each session is like a game.
“The players have been told that their fitness levels will be the best they have ever been and that if they stick with him and back him, they will be fine. If not, they will be out the door. They will be drilled and drilled until they get it right. And if they can’t he’ll replace them with some of the promising youngsters.”