Erik ten Hag explains why Man United failed to replace Martial

Erik Ten Hag. (Photo Credit: BR Football/X)

Erik ten Hag explains why Man United failed to replace Martial

Faruq Ibrahim 23:56 - 02.02.2024

Erik ten Hag cites FFP hurdles as reason behind Manchester United's failed striker hunt in January

Manchester United's gaffer, Erik ten Hag, has spilled the beans on his transfer window woes, revealing his thwarted plans to bolster the Red Devils' striking force. 

The Dutch tactician, facing the music after a dry January window, pointed fingers at the Premier League's financial playbook for blocking his shot at signing a much-needed No. 9.

Transfer Dreams Dashed

Ten Hag's ambitions to add firepower to United's frontline were left unfulfilled, with the boss lamenting the absence of a solid backup for Rasmus Hojlund. 

The injury scare with Anthony Martial only deepened the squad's need for another goal-getter. Yet, the dreams of roping in a new striker were dashed against the cold, hard reality of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

"It’s not a secret I wanted a striker. With the injury to [Anthony] Martial, we don’t really have the backup. But it wasn’t possible because we have to match the FFP rules," Ten Hag expressed his frustrations clearly to the press.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag || Image credit: Imago
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag || Image credit: Imago

FFP: Friend or Foe?

The FFP regulations, designed to keep clubs' spending in check, emerged as the main villain in Ten Hag's narrative. The rules, he argues, force clubs into a corner where selling top talent becomes a necessity to balance the books—a strategy he believes contradicts the essence of team building. 

"There are some disadvantages with FFP. To make space for FFP, you have to sell players and you have to sell good players, and I don't think that's the way you build a team," Ten Hag remarked, voicing his critique of the system.

Creativity in Crisis

With the transfer window shut and no new striker to call upon, Ten Hag is now looking at homegrown solutions to his tactical puzzle. "We have Omari [Forson], we have Amad Diallo. Of course, we have Rashford who can play there. But I think for the rest, all the positions are occupied. We have to be a little bit creative, it’s up to the No. 9 position," he shared, signaling a shift towards leveraging the talents within.

Despite the setback, United's recent triumph over Wolves has fueled optimism, setting the stage for an intriguing face-off against West Ham come Sunday.

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