Erik ten Hag has responded to Eric Bailly after the defender suggested that there is an “English player bias” at Manchester United.
Bailly has caused quite a stir in recent days. The defender has ultimately been a failure at Man Utd as he has been severely hampered by injuries.
He only played four times for United in the Premier League last term and this summer he has joined Marseille on loan.
Bailly is still clearly disgruntled that he did not play much for United last term. In an apparent dig at Harry Maguire, he has claimed that English players get preferential treatment at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag was asked about these comments during his press conference on Wednesday afternoon. He was adamant that a player’s nationality does not impact his decisions:
“I can not say about that. I was not in charge last season. Not for me [nationality deciding selections],” Ten Hag told reporters (via Manchester Evening News).
Man Utd have picked up in recent weeks as they have won four straight games in the Premier League.
Marcus Rashford has been one of their star performers and the forward netted a brace in United’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday.
The Englishman struggled last season after recovering from shoulder surgery. Ten Hag has explained that Rashford’s return to form “started with happiness”:
“Once again, it’s difficult for me to talk about the past. What I see is a happy Marcus Rashford.
“We worked really hard the last two months with him on different aspects. He likes it, he wants to transfer it to the pitch.
“It started with happiness, he comes in every day, he enjoys it, he’s smiling, a really positive vibe, and if you put all of those things together – like the way of play – and you are happy, you will contribute more to the team.”
When asked about Rashford’s contract situation, he continued: “Definitely [in his long-term plans]. I don’t think he’s out of contract and I think United control the situation.”
On Cristiano Ronaldo, he added: “He started against Brentford, then not since, but he is ready to start.
“Of course [he can start for the majority of games].”
The Red Devils face Real Sociedad in their opening Europa League group game on Thursday evening. Ten Hag went onto admit that it is hard for him to keep all of his players happy:
“We have to win every game. We want to win every tournament, so we take everything seriously.
“We not only have a team, we have a squad, but we have to win every game and that is the mentality Manchester United needs.
“Maybe I can not keep them all happy every game, but everyone gets the game time if they perform well – quite clear. As I’ve said, we need everyone, we have a lot of games to cover.”
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