Why Man United Rejected Graham Potter Twice Before Appointing Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag acknowledges the fans before the match.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Erik ten Hag is starting to find his footing in England after beginning his Premier League journey with back to back defeats.

Man United’s humblings against Brighton and Brentford casted premature doubts on his ability to settle in Europe’s toughest league.

The loss against Brighton in particular sparked debates over United’s decision to overlook Graham Potter while searching for their new permanent manager.

Potter has had a remarkable rise since his arrival in English football following the years of management under the radar in Sweden. The shrewd tactics and enjoyable football he brought about at Brighton deservedly led to him bagging the Chelsea job post Thomas Tuchel’s sacking.

Before his appointment at Stamford Bridge, he was linked with United as well. But it is understood he never managed to win over the Old Trafford hierarchy.

According to The Athletic, United were twice encouraged to consider the Englishman: once when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and again when they were searching for Ralf Rangnick’s replacement. Nevertheless, the Red Devils decided against hiring Potter due to his lack of Champions League experience.

Meanwhile, Ten Hag’s impressive record in Europe’s elite competition with Ajax saw his reputation grow and placed him alongside elite managers. Both Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur approached the Dutchman before he agreed to become United’s head coach.