Erik ten Hag is back in the running to become Tottenham Hotspur’s next manager, according to emerging reports…
What’s the word?
The Mirror claim that the Ajax boss is in contention once again after talks broke down with Chelsea’s former title-winning head coach Antonio Conte this week.
The Italian hit the free market after leaving Serie A champions Inter Milan just weeks after their first title in over a decade and on Thursday evening, the Guardian claimed those at Spurs were confident of sealing the 51-year-old following positive talks.
Ten Hag was on the original list of candidates prior to the Eredivisie giants triggering an extension in his contract and it is now thought that Daniel Levy and co will speak to him again following their latest target setback.
Of course, when a manager of Conte’s calibre becomes available, then you have to – at the very least – hold discussions for him but this could actually be a blessing in disguise as his appointment would’ve gone against ‘Spurs’ DNA.’
That is something Levy appears desperate to bring back to the club in his next appointment, with reports suggesting that he’s seeking an attack-minded head coach who can commit to the development of young players.
Conte would want to be well-backed in the transfer market to match the ambitions of their Premier League rivals, meaning opportunities for players like Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon would be hard to come by, and that contradicts Levy’s mooted checklist.
Ten Hag, on the other hand, fits the criteria in abundance.
If you’re looking for a serial winner with a proven track record of silverware by playing an attractive brand of football, having developed the club’s academy prospects into first-team stars before selling them for mega profit, then the Dutchman is the epitome of that.
The 51-year-old has just clinched his second Eredivisie title and boasts an extraordinary 74% win-rate in charge of the Amsterdam outfit.
Over the years, his tactical system and coaching methods have earned plenty of glowing endorsements throughout his managerial career – Jurgen Klopp dubbed him “one of the most exciting coaching talents in world football,” whilst ex-Celtic striker Pierre van Hooijdonk said his ability to progress players was “remarkable.”
Drawing inspiration from Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich and Johann Cruyff, Ten Hag has overseen the impressive development of many a young star, with Frenkie de Jong – who joined Barcelona for £65m – and Matthijs de Ligt – who joined Juventus for €75m (£65m) – his perhaps two finest examples.
If Levy is to finally end Spurs’ managerial woes, then he absolutely must push to sign the Ajax boss at all costs. He cannot afford to let this go on any longer.