Manchester United may still be far away from a side that produces results on a consistent basis, but steps taken from Erik ten Hag both on and off the pitch point to an encouraging future at Old Trafford.
The former Ajax boss has stamped his authority and mark on the team by not only showing exit doors to players he doesn’t see fit for his project but also by building back the confidence of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka and introducing academy talents to the first-team fold.
United’s midfield which saw a number of exits in the summer, has also seen the additions of Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, and Marcel Sabitzer – the players who are closer to the ilk of midfielders suited for Ten Hag’s philosophy than their midfield pivot counter-parts.
Ten Hag hasn’t just looked at the transfer market to find players to his liking, calling academy midfielders Charlie Savage, Zidane Iqbal, and Kobbie Mainoo to join seniors in training to flaunt their potential and skills.
Mainoo, in particular, appears to have impressed the gaffer, who has named him in six Premier League matchday squads this season.
As such, he would be delighted with the development that United have agreed a new long-term deal with the English midfielder.
According to the Daily Mail, Mainoo, who made his full debut in the Carabao Cup against Charlton Athletic, has signed a four-year contract with an option to extend it by a further year.
Mainoo isn’t the only starlet at United that has enjoyed Ten Hag’s trust during the 2022/23 season. Alejandro Garnacho has become a regular feature on the left flank and is understood to be in talks with the club to sign a new and improved contract.