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Brian Brobbey confirms Erik ten Hag wanted him at Manchester United

Brian Brobbey confirms Erik ten Hag wanted him at Manchester United

Ajax attacker Brian Brobbey has revealed that Erik ten Hag told him that he wanted to sign him for Manchester United this summer.

The 20-year-old has jumped between Ajax and RB Leipzig for the past couple of years after initially joining the German side on a free transfer in 2021.

Brobbey could only contribute three assists in 14 appearances for Die Roten Bullen during his first half-season, though, and he was loaned back to Ajax six months later.

Brobbey’s reunion with Ten Hag saw him rediscover his goalscoring form with seven goals in 11 Eredivisie matches and he returned to Amsterdam permanently for a £14.7m fee.

With Man United previously facing uncertainty over the futures of Anthony Martial and Cristiano Ronaldo, Ten Hag was tipped to bring Brobbey to the Theatre of Dreams.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on August 13, 2022© Reuters

A move ultimately did not materialise as Brobbey seeks to make a name for himself back at Ajax, but the Netherlands Under-21 international has claimed that Ten Hag would have welcomed him to Man United.

“Erik [ten Hag] sent me a message, yes, to congratulate me, and to tell me that he would like to have me at Manchester United,” Brobbey told ESPN. “But I’m not finished at Ajax yet, I want to show something here first.”

When news first broke of Ten Hag’s move to Man United, Brobbey joked that he was going to make sure his former manager signed him for the 20-time English champions.

“I am very happy for [Erik ten Hag] and he really deserves it after everything he has done for Ajax. If only he brings me with him in two years…. no no.. joking joking!” the attacker told the press.

The Dutchman has since enjoyed a positive start to the new campaign under Alfred Schreuder, scoring two goals and setting up two more in five Eredivisie matches, winning all five of them.

Manchester United's Antony celebrates scoring their first goal on September 4, 2022© Reuters

While Brobbey stayed put in Amsterdam, Ten Hag was able to convince Lisandro Martinez and Antony to follow him to Old Trafford, and the latter scored on his debut in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Martinez initially struggled to settle into life in the Premier League, but the Argentina international has since impressed alongside Raphael Varane in the backline.

Man United saw the transfer window close without having brought a new recognised striker to the club, and Marcus Rashford has been occupying the number nine role so far during Martial’s injury layoff.

Ronaldo failed in his bid to force an exit to a Champions League club, and the 37-year-old has been largely restricted to appearances from the bench in the Premier League so far this term.

Ronaldo will be hoping to return to the starting lineup when Man United kick off their Europa League campaign against Real Sociedad in Group E.

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