Arsenal legend Thierry Henry recently revealed that he urged Barcelona to appoint Erik ten Hag before the Catalan club got Xavi on board. Xavi was appointed as the team’s manager after Ronald Koeman was sacked midway through the 2021-22 season.
Ten Hag was Ajax’s coach at that point in time. Henry recently said he urged the Catalunyan giants to appoint Ten Hag and termed the Dutchman as a ‘genius’. Henry said (via Football Espana):
“I’m a big fan of Ten Hag. I like him a lot. I recommended his signing to Barca when Koeman was fired, because he is a genius.”
Barcelona have done fairly well under Xavi so far. The Blaugrana are currently leading the race for the La Liga title. Xavi recently won his first trophy as the team’s manager. The Catalan giants defeated Real Madrid by a scoreline of 3-1 to win the Supercopa de Espana.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, is overseeing the rebuilding phase at Manchester United. The Red Devils are currently fourth in the Premier League table with 39 points from 20 games. They trail league leaders Arsenal by a massive margin of 11 points, having played a game more than Mikel Arteta’s team.
Barcelona manager Xavi showered praise on Arsenal’s target
Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi has been one of the finest midfielders in La Liga so far this season. The player is held in high regard by Arsenal and the Gunners are keen to sign him.
Xavi, on the other hand, recently showered praise on Zubimendi. Speaking to the media ahead of his team’s Copa del Rey clash against Sociedad, Xavi said:
“He (Zubimendi) is a more physical and faster player than Busquets, who is technically better. But not only Zubimendi, all of Real Sociedad’s midfield players. We are playing a great team and Zubimendi is a great footballer.” (h/t Team Talk)
Barcelona hold a longstanding interest in Zubimendi. They believe the player has the perfect profile to be Sergio Busquets’ long-term heir. Busquets’ contract with the Catalan club is set to expire in the summer and he looks poised for an exit from Camp Nou.