Erik ten Hag has found his Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has found his own Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester United this season with the arrival of Christian Eriksen, with both midfield maestros sharing the same footballing philosophy about the things that really matter on the pitch.


As Marcus Rashford headed home his 100th goal for United against West Ham, the plaudits rightly went the way of the forward. It was a sumptuous header that Lukasz Fabianski could do little to prevent, as the now 25-year-old reached the milestone in emphatic style.


When the dust settled, and the replays poured in, the pin-point cross from Eriksen to pick out his teammate at the back-post left many speechless at the sheer quality of the delivery. The 30-year-old could hardly have placed the ball a millimetre in either direction and made the chance any better for Rashford.


Yet that was ‘only’ the Dane’s third assist in the league this season. Eriksen has been at the heart of all things positive for United’s creative and attacking outlets this campaign, making his relatively low direct goal contribution come as somewhat of a surprise.


In fact, Eriksen has registered 69 goal-providing passes over his career, and is just 11 assists behind David Beckham in the Premier League’s all-time records, agonisingly close to the top 10 – just five away from drawing level with Thierry Henry in 12th.


De Bruyne currently sits 5th on the list for all-time assists, already notching nine contributions for his teammates as he leads the way this season. Despite this gap between Eriksen and his City rival, Ten Hag knows just how valuable the former Spurs man is to his team.


Ten Hag values selfless players in his set-ups, those that are willing to sacrifice individual glory for the benefit of those around them. This is something that Eriksen completely buys into, as he revealed during his time at Tottenham.


He said: “The most important thing is to try to do your best. And if that is a pass to someone, who then gets the assist, or creates something else, that should be the aim for every game. Of course it will help if you make a goal or assist.