Louis Saha names ‘dream’ candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Man Utd | Football

Zinedine Zidane is Louis Saha’s ‘dream’ candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Louis Saha has named Zinedine Zidane as his ‘dream’ choice to take over from Erik ten Hag at Manchester United this summer and believes the iconic Frenchman has the ‘character and charisma’ to turn the club’s fortunes around.

A humbling 4-0 loss away to Crystal Palace piled yet more pressure on Ten Hag on Monday night and the Dutchman was forced to defend his position in the aftermath of the defeat, insisting he was still the right man for the job.

The Red Devils must somehow pick themselves up the floor as they prepare to welcome Premier League leaders Arsenal to Old Trafford this weekend, with speculation continuing to swirl over Ten Hag’s future.

While United have decided against sacking Ten Hag before the FA Cup final, widespread reports suggest the writing is on the wall for the 54-year-old – regardless of the result at Wembley – and a host of high-profile names have been mooted as possible replacements.

It’s understood United have established contact with Thomas Tuchel over the prospect of succeeding Ten Hag, with the German stepping down as Bayern Munich’s head coach at the end of the campaign.

The likes of Gareth Southgate, Roberto De Zerbi and Graham Potter have also been linked, but Saha feels Zidane – currently a free agent – is the ideal candidate for the hot seat at the Theatre of Dreams.

‘Zinedine Zidane has the character and charisma to manage Manchester United,’ the ex-United and France forward told OLBG.

Louis Saha

Saha believes Zidane has the ‘character and charisma’ to lead the Red Devils (Picture: Getty)

‘What he represents for football, for footballers. I’m sure that if he goes to any club, he would have the same impact.

‘But obviously, I need to see this impact at Manchester United. I hope that can be Erik ten Hag, who brings major trophies back to United, but that’s not what I see at the moment.

‘Zidane is the manager I would dream to have at Manchester United for obvious reasons, he would do well and he’s motivated to come back into football and I think it will be difficult for him to stay out for another year.

‘So let’s see what happens, but his impact at United would be huge because a lot of players would see him as an inspiration, a motivation to excel and not just accept the standard they are currently at.’

Saha feels Zidane represents a ‘step up’ compared to Ten Hag (Picture: Getty)

Saha is confident Zidane – his former team-mate with France – would be a ‘step up’ from the managers that have come and gone in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era at United.

‘They seem to have an approach that just isn’t like something Zidane would have. Look at Zidane, he was the most talented player in the world for ten years but was a really hard worker and never complained,’ he added.

‘He never asked his managers for anything. He was one of the best professionals in the world and had so much passion. Having all that potential and technique, fans might not know how hard he worked but he dedicated his life to football

‘His charisma and what he represents as a player and now a manager, I think he would be a step up.’

Ten Hag finds himself under intense pressure at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

Saha believes a character like Roy Keane could have a ‘big impact’ on United, though feels the fiery Irishman may need to tweak his no-nonsense approach to succeed in the modern game.

‘Roy Keane would have a big impact as Manchester United manager, that’s for sure. But he’d need to have a different kind of communication than 20 or 30 years ago. You can’t just destroy players anymore, it won’t work,’ Saha continued.

But he would have an impact, when I was at the club there were so many local boys who were so focused and wanted to win so badly that you didn’t have any other choice.

‘The manager then doesn’t need to have as much communication because you have 10 to 15 players that lead the way for foreign players.

‘Now it seems like they only have a few players that provide that kind of leadership.

‘So what I’m saying is that Roy Keane alone is not going to be enough, United need 15 players to have that calibre and that kind of approach.’

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