Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Incoming Man Utd assistant Mitchell van der Gaag looks unrecognisable as curly-haired Motherwell defender in 1990s

MITCHELL VAN DER GAAG is likely to be the man tasked with helping Erik ten Hag salvage the sinking ship at Manchester United as his No2.

And much like Ten Hag, who is unrecognisable now to how he looked in his playing days, Van der Gaag’s appearance has also drastically changed.


Mithcell van der Gaag (R) is expected to be named as Erik Ten Hag’s assistant at Manchester UnitedCredit: Getty

Ten Hag is claimed to want Van der Gaag as his assistant at Old Trafford.

Now 50-years-old, Van der Gaag enjoyed a successful playing career spanning 18 years between 1989 and 2007.

Van der Gaag was a centre-back, as was Ten Hag, and spent time playing for clubs in his native Holland, Portugal and Saudi Arabia.

But he also enjoyed a two-year spell in Scotland with Motherwell between 1995 and 1997.

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And Van der Gaag is almost unrecognisable now to how he looked during his time at Fir Park.

Snaps of the coach from the 1997-98 season show him boasting a full head of hair.

Van der Gaag pictured here in Motherwell colours during the 1997-98 season


Van der Gaag pictured here in Motherwell colours during the 1997-98 seasonCredit: SNS
Van der Gaag is unrecognisable today to how he looked in his playing days


Van der Gaag is unrecognisable today to how he looked in his playing daysCredit: Scottish News and Sport

Van der Gaag’s luscious curly brown locks from the 1990’s are quite something to behold.

And his curly mop didn’t get in the way of him scoring goals, with Van der Gaag netting an impressive eight times in 42 games for Motherwell from centre-back.

He then headed back to Holland to sign for Utrecht in 1997, just missing Ten Hag, who left the club in 1996.

The pair though did eventually link up as coaches at Ajax.


Van der Gaag has been Ten Hag’s assistant since the summer of 2021, after moving up from the reserves at the club.

Ten Hag was yesterday confirmed as the next permanent manager of Manchester United, taking over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

The Ajax gaffer penned a three-year-deal, with the option for a further 12 months.

Red Devils fans rejoiced at the announcement, with Ten Hag now facing the daunting task of turning the club back into title contenders.

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