Manchester United heroes warn Erik ten Hag against signing ‘inexperienced’ Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt is with the Netherlands at Euro 2024 (Photo: Getty)

Erik ten Hag should steer clear of reuniting with former Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt, according to two Manchester United heroes.

After penning a new contract with the Red Devils, Ten Hag and the new backroom team at Old Trafford are hard at work with summer transfers.

A top priority is signing a new centre-back with Raphael Varane gone and the futures of Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof unclear.

De Ligt has emerged as one of their top targets, with United said to be in talks with Bayern Munich over a £42million transfer for the 24-year-old who broke through under Ten Hag at Ajax.

But since leaving his boyhood club, the defender has struggled to justify the £129m both Juventus and Bayern have spent on him.

He started just 23 games across all competitions last season, and is yet to make an appearance at Euro 2024, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake and Micky van de Ven ahead in the pecking order.

‘De Ligt hasn’t progressed and developed since he left Ajax. He went to Juventus and now he’s at Bayern Munich. He hasn’t played much,’ former United defender Mikael Silvestre told bettingexpert.com.

Erik ten Hag worked with De Ligt at Ajax (Photo: Getty)

‘I don’t see him being the number one choice at Manchester United even though they have to deal with issues in defence. We don’t know if Lindelof will stay. Harry Maguire is there but you need one or two CBs.

‘I don’t see De Ligt as the number one choice from the beginning. Maybe he can grow into it. But because of his last two years, I don’t imagine him being a regular partner for Lisandro Martinez from the start of the season.’

Former Red Devils striker Teddy Sheringham agrees, citing De Ligt’s lack of Premier League experience, telling Poker Sites: ‘United need leaders on the field who are going to change the whole ethos of the club and how they approach their games.

Jarrad Branthwaite did not make the final England squad for Euro 2024 (Photo: Getty)

‘There were a lot of times last season where I thought they were missing that in crucial moments, so they need to go out and sign that calibre of player.

‘I don’t know if Matthijs de Ligt would be a good addition to the United defence,” he said. I think United need some experience in their back line, ideally someone with Premier League experience.

‘He’s obviously a very good player and we all remember him from his time at Ajax, but I don’t think he should be the number one priority at the moment for the club.’

One centre-back with Premier League experience that United are keen on is Jarrad Branthwaite but they have no intention of paying Everton’s £70m asking price.

‘Branthwaite is not in the England squad is he? If he was playing at EURO 2024 you could pay that much money but he’s not,’ Silvestre added.

‘He’s overpriced right now. Very good player. One for the future who could definitely be an option for United but at that price, no way the club should do that.’

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