Former Ajax star makes Erik Ten Hag and Graham Potter comparison ahead of Manchester United showdown at Brighton

Brighton defender Joel Veltman believes Manchester United have made a shrewd appointment by hiring his former boss Erik Ten Hag.

Erik Ten Hag will arrive at Manchester United this summer and his former player Joel Veltman has likened him to Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter
Erik Ten Hag will arrive at Manchester United this summer and his former player Joel Veltman has likened him to Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter

Veltman played under Ten Hag during his Ajax days and was part of the talented squad that reached the semi-final of the Champions League in 2019.

Veltman, 30, made the switch to Albion in 2020 for just £900,000 and has formed a reliable part of Graham Potter’s rearguard in the Premier League.

Sign up to our Brighton and Hove Albion FC newsletter

The Netherlands international is poised to face Manchester United at the Amex Stadium this Saturday and although the Red Devils have struggled for consistency this campaign, Veltman feels Ten Hag – who will arrive at Old Trafford this summer – is the right man to take them forward.

“His strength was bringing everyone together, but also tactically and building a team who were all pulling in the same direction,” Veltman said.

“He came in halfway during the 2017/18 season and he did a great job, especially in Europe, because that was our next step.”

Veltman also sees similarities between his former head coach and his current one, Potter.

“On the training pitch he was more like a gaffer – the same as Graham Potter to be honest. The assistant coaches would do more of the exercises and he’s more like looking all over like analysing more than saying, ‘you have to do this or do this.’

"Every gaffer needs to bring through the youth – to bring somebody up and I think that’s what he did as well with Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Lijt.”

Brighton will assess the fitness of midfielder Enock Mwepu ahead of the 5.30pm kick-off at the Amex.

The Zambia international hobbled off the pitch last Saturday during Albion’s superb 3-0 victory at Wolves.