It is turning into another mixed, and occasionally difficult season, for Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag as he continues to try and work diligently to get the Red Devil’s performing consistently to their best and get us back in the hunt for the major silverware that football offers.
The 2023/24 campaign is in no way a disaster though, after 13 games we are sat in sixth place in the top flight table and we are only six points from top spot, the Premier League odds suggest we’re still very much in the hunt for Champions League qualification so there is very much still everything to play for as we hit the festive fixture crush in December.
The second half of the season also means we are getting close to the January transfer window coming back into play, and whilst Ten Hag has already been linked with quite a few potential new signings on the rumour mill, we now have a new name in the frame and that is Jeremie Frimpong.
Recent reports in the media have linked United, along with already huge spenders in recent transfer windows, Chelsea, with having an interest in the Bayer Leverkusen talent, particularly as it is now being rumoured that the Bundesliga outfit agreed to a largely minimal £34.6 million release fee, and the 22 year old one capped Netherlands international now apparently wants out.
The name might be familiar to some in the United fanbase, as a youngster Frimpong came through Manchester City’s youth Academy, spending nine years with them, before he then moved onto Scottish giants Celtic to get his first real taste of first team football and get his career up and running. Having impressed at Parkhead, in 2021 he made the switch to Germany and has more than made the right wing back spot his own, and as Xabi Alonso’s side battle Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title this year, he has in no way looked out of place, notching up 13 goal contributions in his last 17 matches for them.
Going into his fourth season at the club following his move from Celtic, it has long been said that Ten Hag has been a long term admirer, but with him signing a new five year deal last October, on face value that was a blow. However, if the rumours about the release clause is true, and the fact it seems Frimpong is looking for a new challenge, then the door could be wide open for a deal to happen when we tick into the New Year.
Maybe there is an element of hindsight here given how well he has performed this season, but should he ultimately leave the club, Leverkusen fans will question why his release fee was agreed at such a low level.
United fans would naturally wonder where he might fit in though, as with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as recognised full backs in our standard back four set up, the wing back role would be a little different – but he is also more than capable of playing as a strict right back, or even fully fledged right winger.
In Ten Hag we have to trust, and then we see what difference Sir Jim Ratcliffe and newly appointed Dougie Freedman can achieve.
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