Man Utd news: Gerard Pique makes admission over Erik ten Hag’s future | Football

Gerard Pique started his professional career at Manchester United (Pictures: Getty/Sky Sports)

Gerard Pique is unsure Erik ten Hag can revive ‘suffering’ Manchester United but says the club would benefit from putting ‘more trust’ in the academy rather than expensive signings.

Erik ten Hag remains under huge pressure at Old Trafford, with reports suggesting United’s new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is considering a change of direction and could look to poach Gareth Southgate from England.

Manchester United finished third and won the EFL Cup in Ten Hag’s first season but the team have regressed this term, slipping to sixth, nine points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

The Red Devils also endured a miserable Champions League campaign before an embarrassing group-stage exit, though they improved the mood in the red half of Manchester last weekend with a thrilling FA Cup victory over Liverpool.

Pique, who started his career at United before establishing himself as a modern-day great at Barcelona, says the quarter-final win was ‘incredible’ but has little faith it will act as a turning point in Ten Hag’s tenure.

The Spain World Cup winner also believes United should give more academy players the chance to help the ‘suffering’ side as the policy of spending big on English and foreign stars has failed.

Discussing the struggles of two of his former clubs – with Barcelona also far from at their best and eight points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid – Pique told Sky Sports: ‘The difference with Barcelona is that this period of transition at Man United has been going on now for quite a long period of time.

United clinched a much-needed victory over Liverpool last weekend

United clinched a much-needed victory over Liverpool last weekend (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s been quite a few years that they’ve not been able to win the title. I think that after Sir Alex left, they lost a little bit their focus and guidance.

‘They didn’t know where to go. Little by little, they are trying to put everything back together in order to compete for titles.

‘I still believe Ten Hag is a very good coach. I don’t really know if he will be able to turn things around but the win against Liverpool [in the FA Cup] was incredible.

‘It’s the sort of victory that will give them power for the rest of the season. Then, I would say they need to trust more in the people coming through from the academy.

‘It happens when you are suffering as a club. It was the same at Barcelona, but you have to trust in the academy players. We saw Sir Alex Ferguson show this with the Class of ’92 and they have to trust in the next generation in the same way.

‘In the last few years, they’ve spent a lot of money, and it hasn’t worked out. So why not try to give the new, young generation the chance to at least try and perform.’

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