Ten Hag eyes more Man Utd signings before deadline and expects club backing

By Sports Desk January 20, 2023

Erik ten Hag has urged Manchester United to "go for it" and seize any opportunities to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes.

The Red Devils are the only side to have beaten leaders Arsenal in the Premier League this season, and at Emirates Stadium on Sunday they will look to make it a double over the Gunners.

A turbulent start under manager Ten Hag has been followed by an impressive resurgence that has catapulted United to third place, still in with a sniff of the title.

Ten Hag this week brought Jadon Sancho back into first-team training, after an absence to deal with what the manager described as physical and mental issues.

While winger Sancho's return to match duty could still be some weeks away, United are looking to keep improving.

Dutch striker Wout Weghorst has already joined on loan, as has English goalkeeper Jack Butland, with Ten Hag and his staff still scouring to see if there is hope of landing other targets before close of play on January 31, expecting the club to then support them.

"I think at Manchester United always you have to look for solutions, and always you have to look for better, and that is what we will do," Ten Hag said.

"We will be doing our research and if there are opportunities, we have to go for it."

Asked about Sancho's likely return date, Ten Hag said: "I can't answer that question. So it's [about] making the next step, because, it's true, [on Tuesday] he was in team training for the first time.

"But team training is the final training before a game. So we will extend that in the coming days, the coming week, and then go step by step."

United will be without suspended midfielder Casemiro for the Arsenal game, a major loss given his impact since arriving from Real Madrid in August.

The Brazilian was only a substitute when United beat Arsenal 3-1 at the start of September, however, coming on for the closing minutes once the match was all but won.

"We beat Arsenal last time without Casemiro, so we have an idea of how to do it," Ten Hag said.

Like many bosses before him, Ten Hag pointed to Arsenal giving manager Mikel Arteta time to work with the team as being crucial to their growing cohesion.

"In the moment we played them, you could already see that the manager, with a coaching style, was already working for a long time on the team, and you saw really good structures in the team," Ten Hag said.

He spoke glowingly of Arsenal's strong spirit and said United, eight point behind the Gunners, would "need a really good performance" to be competitive.

"It's obvious they are in a really good run and I think they deserve [to be] in the position where they are now," Ten Hag added.

"It's a really good structure – how they play, a really good mentality and winning attitude in a team – and that is why they are now top of the [league].

"So they are in a great run, but it's up to us to beat that run, and we will do everything to do that."

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