Who is Erik ten Hag, Manchester United's new coach?
- Erik ten Hag is currently coaching Dutch top tier club Ajax
- The Dutchman will replace interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the Old Trafford
- He will join the Premier League side at the conclusion of the season
The Ajax manager will leave his current position and become United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013.
The Dutchman will replace Ralf Rangnick, who has been interim manager since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November.
Ten Hag has signed a three-year contract with Manchester United until June 2025. He will also have a 12-month extension option after the contract expires.
Manchester United will pay Ajax a compensation fee of £1.6m to bring Ten Hag to the Old Trafford. It is learnt that he will bring his own backroom staff to the club.
Former player turned coach
The 52-year-old is also a former player. He played for FC Twente, De Graafschap, RKC Waalwijk and FC Utrecht as a centre-back.
He had three stints with FC Twente, with whom he won the KNVB Cup in the 2000–01 season.
Ten Hag also won the Eerste Divisie with De Graafschap in the 1990–91 season, ten years before winning the cup with FC Twente. He retired from active playing in 2002 at the age of 32 while playing for FC Twente, after the end of the 2001–02 Eredivisie season.
The Dutch coach started his coaching career back in 2012 when he was appointed as manager of Go Ahead Eagles in the Eerste Divisie by Marc Overmars, who was a shareholder of the club. During his only season at Go Ahead Eagles, he led the team to its first promotion in 17 years.
He also coached Bayern Munich II for two years - from 2013 to 2015. He was replaced by Heiko Vogel.
Ten Hag then became the Sporting Director and head coach of FC Utrecht in the summer of 2015, where he led the club to fifth place during his first season. In the 2016–17 season, he improved FC Utrecht's final position to fourth, booking a place in the Europa League qualifiers.
Guided Ajax to Champions League semifinal
In 2017, Ajax appointed him as the head coach of the club.
The biggest success of his stint with the Dutch club came in the 2018-19 season when Ajax played in the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1997. In the quarterfinal, they defeated defending champions Real Madrid 4–1 in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium at the round of 16 stage. In the first leg of the semifinal, he led his team to take a 1–0 lead against Tottenham Hotspur. However, in the second leg, a second-half hat-trick by Lucas Moura for Tottenham Hotspur dashed Ajax’s final hope of playing in the final.
He won his first managerial trophy with Ajax on 5 May 2019, the 2018–19 KNVB Cup, beating Willem II in the final.
Last season, Ten Hag guided Ajax to their record-extending 20th KNVB Cup with a 2–1 win over Vitesse in the final. After this win, he extended his contract with Ajax till 2023. In January this year, Ten Hag also became the fastest manager in league history to reach 100 wins with Ajax.
Ten Hag now has a task cut out for Manchester United.