Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted the club will struggle to replace Christian Eriksen after he was ruled out for most of the remainder of the season, but remains ‘confident’ there is enough depth in the existing squad to ‘fill the gap’ in the short-term.
United have signed goalkeeper Jack Butland and striker Wout Weghorst this month. The Old Trafford side didn’t go into deadline day with plans to keep adding, but 90min understands they are open to things if a good opportunity presents itself - Ten Hag advised adding in midfield following the Eriksen blow.
Discussing the impact of Eriksen’s injury, Ten Hag said on Tuesday lunchtime: "On deadline day it's difficult, you can't make policy on such bad injuries. But we have players in the midfield department. good players. We have players who can fill the gap."
Elaborating, the United boss clarified that he doesn’t expect to exactly replace Eriksen, because any player who does take his place in the team will have a different skillset.
“I think you can never fill that because every player has his own characteristics, identity,” he explained. “Another player will always fill in a different way, but it doesn't mean you have to be less successful. It's quite clear Christian Eriksen brings top quality to our squad and he has some specifics that are hard to replace, such as his impacts in the final third with his final ball.”
With Bruno Fernandes operating further forward in the number 10 role and Scott McTominay struggling for playing time, questions turned to Fred, who already has a good relationship with United midfield enforcer Casemiro – both on and off the pitch.
“He's playing together with Casemiro in the Brazil squad, there's not a worse squad in the world, they have so many choices they can make, but they play together and that tells something about the quality Fred has and what he can contribute to the team,” Ten Hag said.
"You see against Tottenham and Man City, when he's coming on last game he scores a goal, he has a lot of qualities, and they're a good combination, Casemiro and Fred."
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Source : 90min