Five world-class players that Erik ten Hag now has after Barcelona’s victory
Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, oversaw another remarkable triumph on Thursday night, when Barcelona was defeated in the Europa League.
Manchester United has regained their mojo. Following a decade of mediocrity, Thursday night’s 2-1 Europa League win over Barcelona shows the Red Devils are on track for a fantastic season. Express Sport looks at five undeniably world-class players Erik ten Hag has at his disposal as he attempts to win it all at Old Trafford.
Several, notably Jamie Carragher, dismissed Lisandro Martinez after he failed in early-season defeats to Brighton and Brentford.
Yet, no one now doubts him.
Martinez has been a rock for United this season, and the 25-year-old is certainly an upgrade over Harry Maguire.
He was superb on Thursday night, suffocating Robert Lewandowski at the heart of Barcelona’s onslaught.
Martinez may be diminutive in stature, but his perseverance and aggression make him one of the top defenders in the world right now.
Raphael Varane has been a world-class player for almost a decade.
Throughout his time at the Bernabeu, he was a major asset for Real Madrid, helping the club win four Champions League titles.
Last season, United didn’t see the best of Varane due to injuries that prevented him from playing as frequently as he would have liked.
This phrase, on the other hand, is a different story.
Varane was an important asset against Barcelona, and his combination with Martinez is certainly improving.
With his team behind 1-0, the Brazil international produced a superb double block, putting his body on the line, to keep Barcelona at bay.
And his warrior-like performance in the middle of the pitch demonstrates why he’s one of United’s best signings in years.
Casemiro outperformed Sergio Busquets, which is no small feat given the talent of the Barcelona player.
And trophies await him if he can stay fit until the end of the season.
Before the game, Bruno Fernandes spoke with Rio Ferdinand and revealed that it was ‘all about the team’ for him.
After being pushed out wide, the midfielder struggled to make an impression against Barcelona at first.
Ten Hag, feeling an opportunity to turn the tide, chose to put him in his preferred No 10 role instead.
It was a wise decision, as Fernandes was outstanding in the second half, setting up Fred’s equalizer.
The odd flaw remains, but the benefits far exceed the drawbacks.
Marcus Rashford failed to add to his 24 goal total against Barcelona.
Despite this, there is no doubt that the England international has matured.
When utilized through the middle, Rashford posed a threat and gave his everything, rushing down the Barcelona backline and forcing mistakes whenever possible.
Ten Hag is now responsible for determining his optimum position.
Some believe it is on the left, while others believe it is in the center. Rashford, regardless of where he plays, is one of the finest players in the world right now.