ERIK TEN HAG tore into Manchester United for wasting nearly £1billion on “average” signings as the new boss tries to take the club back to the top.

The Dutchman took over in the summer and immediately got to work trying to shake up the culture of the sleeping giant.

Erik ten Hag was not impressed by Manchester United's recent signings before arriving at the club

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Erik ten Hag was not impressed by Manchester United’s recent signings before arriving at the clubCredit: Reuters
The Dutchman spent £220m in the summer window after taking over

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The Dutchman spent £220m in the summer window after taking overCredit: Getty

He spent £220million in the transfer window with most players already a big hit and showed his authority by disciplining Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford.

But he knows he has a big task to get United back to the level of success they enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson.

A large part of that is down to the poor return on £1bn worth of signings since the Scottish legend retired in 2013.

Ten Hag does not mention specific names but some of the standout big-money flops at United in recent years include Angel Di Maria, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba.

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And he knows arresting that wretched record in the transfer market is fundamental to turning the club’s fortunes around.

The Old Trafford boss said: “The club has bought an unimaginable number of players in recent years who have not been good enough.

“Most purchases have been average – and at United average is not good enough.

“United’s shirt weighs heavily. Only real personalities, who can perform under great pressure, can play here.

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“We needed personalities. That’s why the acquisition of Casemiro was so important. Along with Raphael Varane, we now have a second player who has experience of winning titles.

“Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Antony are all fighters, while Christian Eriksen is a technical winner and a great personality.

“We want the best of the best. Any players we bring to Manchester United must meet the highest standard.”

Ten Hag suffered a nightmare start with the humiliating defeats to Brighton, Brentford and Manchester City.

But he is making his mark on the club, rising into the top four and level on points with Newcastle.

Last night’s victory over Everton was United’s seventh in a row and an eighth would secure their place in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

And he is using the example of the club’s most successful manager to shape his own blueprint for the Red Devils.

‘NO SPIRIT, NO TEAM DYNAMIC’

Ten Hag added to VI Magazine: “Manchester United didn’t exactly have the fear factor last season.

“There was no spirit. I saw no team dynamic in the squad. The mental resilience was very low.

“I saw that as an outsider – and also noticed it in my first weeks at the club. I looked at the culture of the club. I asked, ‘How did Manchester United become great?’

“And for me, it was about Sir Alex Ferguson. His teams excelled in togetherness, collectivity, spirit. You just couldn’t beat them.

“United always had top strikers like Cantona, Cole, Sheringham, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie. And top goalkeepers like Schmeichel, Van der Sar, De Gea.

“In the centre, there were big personalities like Jaap Stam, Vidic, Rio Ferdinand. And always a strategist in midfield.

“Roy Keane, the boss. Paul Scholes, a magnificent footballer and personality. And think of players like Ryan Giggs or David Beckham.

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“That’s the culture of Manchester United. I looked at that very carefully and then saw that last season’s team looked fragile and vulnerable.

“When we get players, you look at their quality and technical skills. But you also look at their mental quality, that mental resilience – and we had to bring that back.”

Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane provided success with strong leadership on and off the pitch

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Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane provided success with strong leadership on and off the pitchCredit: Manchester United – Getty
Paul Pogba's return to Old Trafford did not work out as planned

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Paul Pogba’s return to Old Trafford did not work out as plannedCredit: AP
Christian Eriksen and Casemiro arrived last summer and injected plenty of quality

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Christian Eriksen and Casemiro arrived last summer and injected plenty of qualityCredit: Getty



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