Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has brushed off suggestions that the club’s summer spend in excess of £200m brings additional pressure because it was a necessary step in the ‘process’.
In the closing stages of last season, interim United boss Ralf Rangnick was highly critical of the squad, insisting that ‘open heart surgery’ was needed and up to 10 new signings.
United didn’t bring in 10 new faces during the summer transfer window, but in Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro, Antony and Martin Dubravka they have six to build a fresh foundation for Ten Hag to work with.
Even before £60m Casemiro has made his full debut and £85m Antony has played at all, United have already won three games in a row to put their dreadful start to the season behind them.
“It is a lot of money,” Ten Hag told Sky Sports.
“It is part of [the process] and something we have to do to remain competitive. We have a squad with potential with good players now and now we need to make a team.”
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Discussing his mindset, the Dutchman added, I am not such a dreamer, I am more the reality, and I knew it was a big challenge and hard work. I have been so busy I didn’t notice it has been 100 days, but that is a good signal. What I am doing is a football process. I love to manage that on and also off the pitch. I really enjoy it, it excites and challenges me and it is good to have this experience.”
United face a real test to their newfound form on Sunday afternoon when they meet early pace setters Arsenal, which will be a measure of how far they have come in recent weeks.