Erik ten Hag insisted on taking control of Man United's RESERVES to ensure young talents have a route to the first team... with the Dutch boss in charge of selection, tactics and game time just like he was at Ajax

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Erik ten Hag has taken control of Manchester United's reserve team as he strives to continue the club's proud tradition of developing top class talents.

The Dutch coach insisted on a level of control over the Under 23 side during negotiations that led to him taking charge at Old Trafford - in the same way he helped keep the pathway from academy to first-team open at former club Ajax.

Ten Hag has been working closely with Under 23 manager Mark Dempsey and coach Paul McShane but has the ultimate say on team selection, game time and even player position.

Erik ten Hag has also taken control of Manchester United's reserve team since arriving

Erik ten Hag has also taken control of Manchester United's reserve team since arriving

Erik ten Hag has also taken control of Manchester United's reserve team since arriving 

Isak Hansen-Aaroen (right) in action for United's Under 23 side during a recent fixture

Isak Hansen-Aaroen (right) in action for United's Under 23 side during a recent fixture

There has been a homegrown player in every United matchday squad since October 1937.

'For me, co-operation between all the different departments is crucial to get the right culture in a club,' Ten Hag said, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

'Like at Ajax, when I entered Manchester United the reserve team was isolated.

'It was no longer really part of the academy, but it wasn't part of the first-team either. I changed that immediately - just as I did when I entered Amsterdam.

'At Ajax, the reserve team came under the personality of the manager. That was the only way I could have influence on the flow of young, talented players towards the first-team.

'Of course, I still give the coaches freedom to work, but I also give them direction, by saying for example, "I want that player to start making minutes in that position."

Shola Shoretire is one of the current United talents hoping to break into the first-team

Shola Shoretire is one of the current United talents hoping to break into the first-team 

'So the final responsibility lies with me about how the second team performs and the flow of players that goes from the reserve team to the first team.'

United fans have enjoyed the performances of Argentine youngster Alejandro Garnacho this season, following the emergence of Anthony Elanga from the youth set-up last year.

However, United's Under 23 side are only 11th in the Premier League 2 table at present, having won just one of their first 12 games this season but drawing seven.

On his insistence on having control of the second string during negotiations last summer, Ten Hag added: 'This is totally new for the people at Manchester United, but I had already discussed it during the introductory talks with the club management.

Alejandro Garnacho is one exciting talent to have emerged from the United academy

Alejandro Garnacho is one exciting talent to have emerged from the United academy 

'They were immediately open to it. They looked at Ajax with admiration because of how the club always manages to get youth players successfully through the system.

'There is a constant influx of talents at Ajax and I explained that's because the basis of everything at the club is the youth academy.

'When I was going home from my work at Ajax in the evening, I would often see the under-eights or the under-nines training and I would stay to watch.

'In the final phase of a player's academy years and the step up to the first-team, it is all about the structure between the academy director, the reserve team coach and the manager.

'This is what I mean when I talk about co-operation. I talked to [director of football] John Murtough about this at length before I came to Manchester and he set it up in such a way that I can work this way here too.

Anthony Elanga is another who has made a first-team breakthrough at United in recent times

Anthony Elanga is another who has made a first-team breakthrough at United in recent times

'In the Netherlands, I had made the step towards taking more of a managerial role at Ajax. If you don't have competent people around you, you can't delegate and you're going to do it all yourself anyway.

'But if you do have competent people, you have to bring them into your vision and then you can delegate tasks. An example is the training process with the senior team. I know this is in good hands with [coach] Mitchell van der Gaag.

'Because he is at the training sessions, I can often take an overview view. Then, as a manager, you see a lot more than if you are working on the training exercises yourself.'

Ten Hag's United first-team return to action at home to Bournemouth on Tuesday. They moved into the Premier League top four with a 1-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford scored United's winning goal at Wolves as they moved into the top four

Marcus Rashford scored United's winning goal at Wolves as they moved into the top four

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