Marcus Rashford’s transformation into “one of the most dangerous players in Europe” at Manchester United has earned Erik ten Hag praise from Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez.
In the opening leg of their play-off for a spot in the Europa League knockout phase, the Spanish powerhouses host United on Thursday.
Ten Hag was hired in the summer, and since then, the Red Devils have excelled in both the Premier League and the EFL Cup final, leaving a lasting impression.
Xavi praised Ten Hag as a fantastic coach.
“In my opinion, he is succeeding despite the fact that [reversing] the situation at United was not an easy task.
“The team, the fan base, and their playing style all contribute to their renewed excitement.
It’s a tough rival for us, and he’s a very interesting coach, because he changes things both offensively and defensively, and everyone is working very well.
Under the Dutch coach, Rashford has thrived in particular.
In Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Leeds, the striker scored his 13th goal in 15 games following the World Cup, surpassing every other player in Europe during that span.
We need to be careful with all of them, but especially Rashford, because he is extremely dangerous during the transition, said Xavi.
He is currently one of Europe’s most dangerous players.
Both teams required a reset,
Barcelona will present a difficult test for Manchester United on Thursday because they will be without Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembele.
They are currently in first place in La Liga, 11 points ahead of Real Madrid, and have won their last eight games overall.
Ten Hag praised Xavi back, saying the former midfielder had given Barcelona a much-needed “reset,” and that Barcelona is now moving in the right direction.
Although both clubs are in the Europa League, he stated that both clubs “aspire to be in the Champions League.”
“After the group stage, making it to the semifinals, championship game, and even winning it would be an accomplishment rather than just being present.
“However, both clubs needed a fresh start, and we are both moving in the right manner. The truth is that we are in the Europa League.
“Being face to face is exciting. You improve with each test you take.”
“De Jong strengthens your team,”
Manchester United will play Frenkie de Jong in the match; de Jong has been widely linked to a summer transfer to the Premier League club.
As the midfielder’s manager at Ajax before to the Netherlands international’s transfer to Barcelona, Ten Hag is intimately familiar with the player.
Ten Hag praised the player, saying, “He’s a terrific player playing out from the back, he always has time, and it was a pleasure to work with him.”
“Frenkie is an extraordinarily talented player who would fit in well with any team in the globe. If you can recruit him to your squad, your team will be stronger because he possesses a special characteristic.”