Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is “looking forward” to seeing if some of the club’s younger talents can force their way into his plans this summer.
The new Old Trafford boss is settling into his latest job at the start of United’s pre-season tour in Bangkok. The Red Devils play three Premier League sides in a trip also featuring a trip to Australia.
Liverpool are up first on Tuesday, before clashes with Crystal Palace and Aston Villa following a meeting with Melbourne Victory.
While the pressure is somewhat lowered in pre-season, Ten Hag is not treating his side’s trip abroad that way.
Indeed, he wants the younger Man United players in the squad – and those pushing to graduate from the academy – to impress him and force a late change to his first-team squad plans for next season.
“What I want to see is that they learn but also they show themselves because they have to deserve a position in top football,” Ten Hag told The Independent.
“You have to deserve your position. It means you have to deliver every day, that demands a certain style, a certain way of life that they have to adapt to, that they probably don’t know yet.
“But I am really looking forward to seeing if they can do it.
“I hope one or two, they can provide themselves and they come into the squad but, if they want to enter the dressing room, they have to deserve it.”
There are a number of exciting talents looking to make their name for United this summer. Defender Ethan Laird, forward Alejandro Garnacho and Charlie Savage, the son of former star Robbie, have all travelled.
There is also a place for new signing Tyrell Malacia, the left-back who is Ten Hag’s first signing as United manager.
Ten Hag relishing Man Utd, Premier League match-ups
Have a Hag must hit the ground running when the Premier League gets underground. Indeed, he has little time to think with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City three of his new club’s first nine opponents of the campaign.
United also face Palace early on in the term, with Ten Hag happy to be playing both the Eagles and Liverpool in pre-season.
“It’s important, they are good tests – a playing level you have to face in every game,” the manager added.
“So, immediately, you know we want to transfer our way of playing and we can test that.
“What I say is it’s really good to do that immediately against opponents who will then be your opponents.”
United face good early test
While the first of the two upcoming meetings with Liverpool will mean little for United when all is said and done, the fact that the pre-season contest is Ten Hag’s first match in charge means a great deal.
The Dutchman has an early chance to showcase his managerial prowess and prove that he can quickly influence his new squad.
Liverpool, after coming so close to a quadruple last season, will be looking to start fresh this summer too.
But Man Utd can get some momentum behind Ten Hag straight away with an impressive display against their rivals.