Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has a verbal agreement in place to join Manchester United on an initial three-year contract this summer, has showcased
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who has a verbal agreement in place to join Manchester United on an initial three-year contract this summer, has showcased his ruthless streak ahead of the KNVB Cup final against bitter rivals PSV. With all eyes seemingly watching the Dutchman’s every move ahead of his proposed switch to Old Trafford, Ten Hag has decided to shake things up in one of the biggest matches of his career.
The 52-year-old tactician knows he will be faced with barrages of scrutiny should Ajax fail to bring home the trophy given the distractions surrounding his future in recent weeks.
Ten Hag has opted to ignore all talk of Manchester United, despite giving them his word that he will join at the end of the season.
Ajax’s players remain adamant that winning the domestic double is still at the forefront of their minds, despite not knowing who will be in charge come the start of the new campaign.
Now Ten Hag has raised eyebrows with his team selection ahead of the crucial meeting in Rotterdam, by dropping top goalscorer Sebastian Haller.
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The 27-year-old club-record signing from West Ham has struck 33 times in 37 outings in all competitions this season.
However, the Frenchman now finds himself on the bench for the season and legacy-defining – for Ten Hag – De Topper.
The decision has created huge surprise in Dutch quarters with Haller considered one of the certainties to start for Ajax.
No 1 goalkeeper Andre Onana was also dropped for the meeting and the Cameroonian was not even in Ajax’s match day squad.
ESPN have since claimed he declared himself injury, to potentially avoid the embarrassment of being left out.
Ten Hag decided he would give veteran Maarten Stekelenburg the nod over the Inter Milan-bound Onana, following several shaky displays of late.
Onana was booed by Ajax fans last week in the 2-1 win over Sparta Rotterdam after conceding from a howler.
After the match, the 26-year-old declared he “did not give a s***”[in reference to the boos], comments that are understood to have upset those connected to Ajax.
Dutch press claim Ten Hag communicated to Onana he would not be starting the match, earlier this week.