Man Utd to reward brilliant defender as Erik ten Hag prioritises ‘bumper new contract’ | Football | Sport

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Man Utd to reward brilliant defender as Erik ten Hag prioritises ‘bumper new contract’ | Football | Sport

Manchester United reportedly plan to reward Willy Kambwala with a bumper new contract to recognise his first-team breakthrough this season. The teenage defender shone against Liverpool in Sunday’s Premier League clash, leaving Erik ten Hag and his coaching staff convinced of his talent.

Kambwala has been a surprise breakout star this season due to Ten Hag’s relentless injury crisis, which has forced him to use 27 different defensive combinations.

The 19-year-old has made eight appearances since earning his first Premier League start in the 2-0 defeat at West Ham United in December.

He started for the first time at Old Trafford against Liverpool at the weekend, catching the eye in the entertaining 2-2 draw.

Kambwala is set to receive more opportunities in the coming weeks, with Harry Maguire the only other available centre-back in Ten Hag’s squad.

Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans are all injured, joining both left-backs Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia on the sidelines.

According to HITC, United plan to demonstrate how highly Kambwala is rated at Old Trafford by offering him a bumper new contract.

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Ten Hag is said to have made it clear to the club’s new football hierarchy led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS that they should prioritise sealing Kambwala’s long-term future.

The France youth international’s current contract expires in June 2025, the same date as Maguire and Lindelof. Varane and Evans’ deals are up this summer.

But he is reportedly delighted at United and, now a permanent member of Ten Hag’s senior squad, with how the season has unfolded on an individual level.

Since joining United’s youth ranks from Sochaux in 2021, Kambwala has been plagued by injury issues. He has seemingly overcome them, though, and now represents a genuine first-team option.

The report adds that the Red Devils are keen to tie Kambwala down to fresh terms to avoid facing similar issues as they are with fellow starlet Omari Forson, who has yet to commit his future to the club.

Mainoo, who has also become an established first-team player this term, is expected to put pen to paper on a new contract later in the year.

After the Liverpool clash, Ten Hag heaped praise on Kambwala, who repaid his faith after the Dutchman opted against moving Casemiro into defence.

He said: « We were convinced he could do the job and he has done brilliant, I am very pleased, very happy and it is another signal and message of the future of Manchester United. »

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