‘A bit lazy’ – Paul Merson criticises Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag for recruitment strategy

Erik ten Hag is attempting to turn around Manchester United’s fortunes (Picture: Getty Images)

Paul Merson thinks it’s ‘a bit lazy’ for managers to recruit players from their former clubs, referencing Erik ten Hag and Lisandro Martinez for Manchester United.

The new Red Devils boss has come in to attempt to restore the club to their former glories after a dismal last campaign.

United registered their lowest ever points tally in the Premier League last season as they finished sixth in the table.

Ten Hag has strengthened his new squad with the addition of versatile defender Martinez, who he worked with at Ajax.

The Dutchman also wants a reunion with Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, another former Ajax colleague.

But Arsenal legend Merson is not a fan of managers bringing their old players to their new clubs.

‘I’m not a great lover of managers coming in and buying players from their old clubs – it’s a bit lazy,’ Merson told Sportskeeda.

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martínez
Lisandro Martínez worked under Ten Hag at Ajax (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Dutch football and English football are like chalk and cheese, and it’s going to be difficult for Lisandro Martinez.

‘We’ve seen it before with Sebastien Haller – he was brilliant for Ajax, and he couldn’t score a goal in the Premier League.’

Explaining what Martinez will bring to the side last month, Ten Hag told United’s website: ‘He’s a warrior and I think the fans will admire him.

‘He has an attitude, fighting spirit. He brings aggressiveness in the game, in a good way. I think we need that. But also, he’s also skilful and he can deal with the ball and he’s left-footed.’

‘I think the Premier League is high intensity, lots of challenges,’ Ten Hag added. ‘We need such players. I know from South Americans… I call it grinta. Controlled, aggressive. You need that in your game and with him we have such a player.’

‘Certain ideas, he knows them,’ the Dutchman added. ‘That is an advantage, clear. But also he has to adapt, to a new country, a new club, new team-mates. So also a lot of things will be different.’

MORE : Manchester United rejected chance to sign Benjamin Sesko for just £2.5m in 2019…and now they must pay £50m to land teenage sensation

MORE : Erik ten Hag asks Manchester United to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea

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