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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jack Flintham

Erik ten Hag shown glimpse into dream Manchester United future

Supporters who traveled to Old Trafford on Monday night were shown a glimpse into what Erik ten Hag wants to see next season at Manchester United.

The Three Lions tore their way through North Macedonia who struggled to cope with a front three which Ten Hag hopes to partially replicate this summer. With Marcus Rashford on the left and Harry Kane through the middle, Gareth Southgate showed how the Reds could get the best out of both men if Tottenham Hotspur can be persuaded to part with their talisman.

Both Rashford and Kane had got themselves on the scoresheet on a warm Manchester evening before half-time. For the England captain's goal, Rashford and Luke Shaw combined to set up the record goalscorer and it was hard not to think about the possibilities which potentially lie ahead.

This season, with United struggling for goals and strikers, Ten Hag was forced to play Rashford through the centre. However, Monday showed why it is imperative the Dutchman is allowed a centre forward in the summer.

ALSO READ: United fans send Kane transfer message

Rashford was nearly unplayable on the left wing as he tormented the opposition's defence with his pace. A fact that did not go unnoticed with Joe Cole at the break.

"He has been outstanding," Cole told Channel 4. "He missed the Malta game with a hip injury but he was always the one who was going to make the breakthrough.

"He is so direct, so clever because he was hanging out in the wide positions, they were feeding him the ball and he gave them a torrid time. The players around him recognised that they were not getting tight to him, and he went and drove at the defence.

"When you are playing against a player with this kind of ability, agility and directness, you just can’t stop him. It was always going to be Marcus Rashford who was going to make the difference."

Freed of the shackles of leading the line, Rashford showed he can continue to flourish. Clearly, Kane has proven he is one of the best centre-forwards in the world and, together, week in week out United could be a real force for more silverware next season. The only thing standing in Ten Hag and United's way is the boardroom.

A Manchester Evening News special souvenir edition - Fergie's First - charts United's 1992/93 title-winning campaign and you can get your hands on one here

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