Roy Keane pinpoints six Man Utd transfer calls that have aided Ten Hag

Ten Hag comments as Man Utd reach Carabao Cup final

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Manchester United icon Roy Keane has claimed that six transfer decisions at Old Trafford have helped mould the club in Erik ten Hag’s image. The Red Devils suffered in the previous season and looked like a fractured team from top to bottom, but the Dutch boss has overseen a dramatic turnaround having reached his first possible cup final and currently has United in the Champions League places.

United defeated Nottingham Forest 5-0 on aggregate over two legs to reach the Carabao Cup final, as Anthony Martial and Fred came off the bench to score on Wednesday to seal their place at Wembley against Newcastle. Keane felt that the exits of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani has helped bring a “new energy” to Old Trafford under Ten Hag.

“A lot has changed around here – obviously winning football matches helps – but in the summer when the new manager came in United were rock bottom, and we’re talking about the recruitment, but I think what was key was the five or six players that left,” Keane told Sky Sports.

“I’m not knocking all these players, they were experienced players. Pogba, Mata, Matic, Jesse Lingard, lads who’ve been around and kind of knew they were leaving, their contracts were up with most of them and that wasn’t helping them whereas it definitely feels around the club, a new energy.

“The manager has put a few markers down after a bad start to the season and that momentum, that fear factor is back around the club and the energy levels are certainly different. That [dealing with the Ronaldo situation] has helped him with managing the club.”

Ten Hag and Ronaldo had a fractured relationship that saw the club terminate the 37-year-old’s contract before the World Cup. Stars such as Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes have since shined in the absence of key, experienced stars.

“Nobody wanted that hanging over for the second part of the season,” Keane added regarding Ronaldo. “And that should have been dealt with in the summer.

“That issue with the Ronaldo situation that he wasn’t going to be sitting on the bench and be happy with it, there was always going to be problems and that should have been dealt with, but it has been now and it’s not hanging over the club anymore, but also the other players that left, five or six big players like Cavani.

“These lads who were coming off the bench, fringe players, they weren’t bringing much because they felt they should have been starting. The subs or so-called fringe players now come on ready, whereas last year they were energy sappers.”

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