Erik ten Hag’s decision over ingoings and outgoings this summer may well be shaped around age as much as ability, in keeping with key traditions at Manchester United.
Ten Hag has an undoubted commitment to youth. Under his Ajax reign, 23 different academy players have been handed their debuts.
This philosophy runs throughout the Dutch champions, no matter who the manager is. Several footballers, from Jurriën Timber to Matthijs de Ligt, were handed debuts in Amsterdam before they reached their 21st birthday.
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At Manchester United, the Class of 92 is heralded as a seismic example of what young players can achieve. It seemed as though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was adopting a similar policy - under his tenure, the average of the squad hovered around 24 and by July of last summer, 13 youth players had made their debut under the Norwegian.
This season however, the average age has risen to 27.8. There’s no hard and fast formula as to how old a successful squad should be. But 27.8 is the second oldest United squad of the Premier League era.
United’s attack this season has relied upon 37-year-old Ronaldo. Many have pointed to the injuries of 35-year-old Edinson Cavani as a big miss too. Centre back is another area of concern, with the youngest in the position being Victor Lindelöf at 27.
Some leagues are still defined by ageing stars – see Edin Džeko and Zlatan Ibrahimović in Serie A. Nevertheless, the pace of the Premier League demands a more youthful squad.
Ten Hag will be given a helping hand with this task, with veterans such as Nemanja Matic, Cavani and Juan Mata already set to leave during the summer. There are also several young first-teamers, like
Todd Spangler NY Digital EditorAmid fears of a looming global recession, shares of media companies saw a mixed day of trading Friday as major market indexes marked their the longest string of weekly losses in decades.The S&P 500 index closed flat thanks to a late-session rally, but it was down for the week and is off 18.7% year to date, on the edge of the unofficial 20% threshold indicating a bear market. The Nasdaq Composite, weighted toward the tech sector, dipped 0.3% Friday and has declined 28% since the beginning of 2022. For both indexes, it’s their longest streak of weekly losses since the 2001 dot-com bust.The Dow Jones Industrial Average also was essentially flat Friday, down 2.8% for the week.
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