Erik ten Hag calls for new signings, David de Gea admits fault after Brentford humbling

Erik Ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says he needs new top-quality players to be signed before the end of the transfer window to help turn around a calamitous start to the season.

The Red Devils suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat away to Brentford on Saturday, following their opening day 2-1 loss at home to Brighton.

Those results meant they ended a day bottom of the Premier League table for the first time in almost 30 years.

“We have to provide higher standards than what we did today,” said Ten Hag.

“We are, as a team, in a difficult process. You expect a different start. It’s not what we expected.

“We need new players. We need quality players. We are working on that and we’ll do everything to convince them to come.”

United’s transfer policy has come in for intense scrutiny this summer, with Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen being the only new additions so far.

The club have been in protracted negotiations for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong for months, but the Dutchman now appears likelier to join Chelsea than move to Old Trafford.

United ended their interest in Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic last week after the Italian club resisted bids and Red Devils fans expressed their disapproval.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has also been linked with a move to Manchester, with reports saying talks are at an advanced stage.

Whether the Frenchman’s arrival will be enough to turn around a situation described by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville as ‘desperate’ is another question.


“Brentford were more hungry. We conceded goals from individual mistakes. You can’t have a tactical plan but then put it in the bin,” Ten Hag said.

“It’s difficult for me. It is always a surprise when you start a game like this. After 35 minutes we conceded four goals. This is not possible. The team has to take the responsibility, I feel really sorry for the fans who did everything to support us, we let them down.”

United conceded all four goals at Brentford before half-time in one of their worst performances in recent memory.

Goalkeeper David de Gea was at fault for the first two, as a shot squeezed through him for the first before a poorly-judged pass helped the Bees double their lead.

The Spain international stepped up to face the cameras after the match.

“I’m just taking my responsibility today. I think I cost three points for my team. It was a poor performance from myself,” De Gea said.

“After the first mistake and then the second, it was very difficult for my team-mates. At the moment, it’s tough every time we concede a goal. I should save the first shot – [if I had] the result would be different.”