Football News

Edwin van der Sar opens the door on future Man Utd return

By Chris Smith

Published: 15:03, 13 September 2019

Edwin van der Sar insists he is happy with his role at Ajax but that you “never know” what might happen in the future, amid rumours linking him with a Manchester United return.

The former Dutch goalkeeper made 266 appearances between the sticks for the Red Devils during his playing days, winning four Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.

Could Van der Sar return to United? Five things to know…

  • Van der Sar is the oldest player to win the Premier League (40 years, 205 days), lifting the title with United.
  • Since retiring, he’s taken up a CEO role with boyhood club Ajax.
  • Rumours have surfaced linking him with a technical director role at Old Trafford.
  • Ed Woodward has been working hard to fill that position, so far to no avail.
  • Although Van der Sar insists he’s happy at Ajax, he has left the door open to a return in the future.

Since retiring, Van der Sar has taken up a role as Ajax’s CEO and has overseen the club’s return to prominence on the European stage, helping the Eredivisie giants reach the Europa League final and Champions League semi-finals in recent seasons.

The 48-year-old is believed to have a number of admirers at Old Trafford, where Ed Woodward is continuing his search for a technical director and when asked if he could one day take up that role, Van der Sar left the door open.

“You never know,” he said. “At the moment, Ajax is the principle thought where I’m putting all my time and effort in and whatever happens in the future, we will see.”

Man Utd cannot hide behind youth, says Van der Sar

Although it doesn’t look like Van der Sar will be taking up a role in Manchester any time soon, it’s obvious he’s been keeping an eye on proceedings at Old Trafford.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer worked hard to bring the average age of his squad down over the summer, signing the likes of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but has delivered just one win during the new season so far.

And Van der Sar feels the Red Devils need to get another three points on the board sooner rather than later, insisting Solskjaer cannot hide behind youth as an excuse for poor results.

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“With young players, you can also perform,” he added. “It’s not that they all came from the academy or something like that, so in that way, of course, you need to perform.

“You have ups and downs, but young players have talent, they need to show that talent on the pitch and have the courage to play them and I’m sure in the long run they’re going to benefit immensely.

“They had a great start, winning against Chelsea, then didn’t follow that up with the results that the club, players and supporters wanted. So it’s going to be a rat-race again.

“You need to look up all the time. In my time there, we hardly ever did that, it was almost like we were always being chased, so in that way it’s important for them to get a win on the block, starting Saturday.”

United host Leicester in the Premier League this Saturday.

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