Erik ten Hag has explained why he signed Marcel Sabitzer over four other midfielders on transfer deadline day.
Manchester United signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich on transfer deadline day. Erik Ten Hag revealed Manchester United went for the former RB Leipzig playmaker over other four options that was offered to the team.
The Red Devils made a shock transfer deadline swoop for the Austria international after Christian Eriksen suffered an angle injury that will sideline him for three months.
While Christian Eriksen’s injury drove Erik Ten Hag into the transfer market on deadline day, the former Ajax boss has revealed he turned down opportunities to sign four other players and instead opted for the 31-year-old.
Speaking after Manchester United’s win over Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup, Erik Ten Hag said he has followed the career of Marcel Sabitzer for a long time since he played for RB Salzburg in Austria.
Ten Hag added Marcel Sabitzer was a fantastic player and his signing will be a big boost to the in-form Man United squad.
“I know the player already a long time from [RB] Salzburg. He performed fantastically, so I expect that he will do the same here”, he said.
The Dutch tactician maintained Manchester United needed Marcel Sabitzer not only because of the absence of Christian Eriksen but also for Donny van de Beek and McTominay.
“We are really happy with that transfer because we need it after Donny van de Beek dropped out, now Christian Eriksen for a longer time and also, I think for a short time, Scott McTominay is also not available”, he added.
Meanwhile, Marcel Sabitzer was quick to assert he was happy to make the move to the Old Trafford club on transfer deadline.
The former Leipzig star said he was eager to push through a move when he heard of the opportunity, and he knew it was the right opportunity for him.
“From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season.
“I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new teammates and manager and to show my qualities to Man Utd fans,” he added
According to reports, Manchester United turned down opportunities to sign a list of players that were offered to the club before settling for Marcel Sabitzer.
Atletico Madrid duo Saul Niguez and Yannick Carrasco were reportedly offered to the club, alongside Lyon ace Houssem Aouar and free agent Isco.
None of the listed options matched Erik Ten Hag’s expectation, making the Dutch to settle for Sabitzer.
Also on the list of players who could have possibly join Manchester United was Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Daichi Kamada, who is out of contract in the summer.
Kamada is said to have been another top preference for Erik Ten Hag, but United needed a short-term signing that will offer the team an opportunity for reevaluation and reassessment at the end of the season, not a permanent signing.
Meanwhile, Marcel Sabitzer is a top player that will provide enough depth for Manchester United’s midfield. He has made 68 appearances for Austria senior national team.
He has played for RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig, and Bayern Munich. He helped Leipzig win promotion to the German top-flight in 2016.
He has won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, and made the 2019/20 Champions League and Bundesliga team of the season.