Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar says his ex-Ajax boss Louis van Gaal will succeed where David Moyes failed at the three-times European champions.
United turned to Van Gaal, who guided Ajax to a Champions League triumph over AC Milan in 1995, this week having sacked Moyes in April.
Van der Sar believes Van Gaal’s history of winning trophies in Europe’s toughest leagues and his faith in youth will help him become a favourite at Old Trafford.
“He’s a very hard working coach and he makes players better and sends out all the right signals,” Van der Sar told Laureus.
“There is a history of winning trophies, bringing through players and working with young big players.
“It’s great for him that Ryan Giggs is going to stay as assistant coach because the input from him is important.”
However, the 2008 Champions League winner admitted it will be tough for Van Gaal to make the transition from Netherlands World Cup manager to United boss this summer.
“It’s going to be difficult to get from seventh to first in one year, but Liverpool almost did it and United have more quality than them.”
Van der Sar also felt with hindsight the appointment of Moyes was a mistake and that the Scot seemed to fail to use the younger players at his disposal.
“They had a terrible season, so you are not going to say it was a good decision.
“You have to look at the academy and be willing to work with younger players, it’s essential.
“I grew up with young players around me at Ajax and Manchester United so I think it’s good to have a mix of young and experienced players.”
The keeper though did see one sign of encouragement last season in the form of David De Gea, Van der Sar adding he felt the young Spaniard has proven his critics wrong after struggling to replace the Dutchman.
“He made giant steps in the second year by performing and winning the league.
“He got a lot of criticism when he replaced me but I was like him and didn’t have the physical presence but that comes later.
“He has brought confidence with him and performs now at a high level during the whole season.”
The former United keeper though has ruled out becoming part of the Old Trafford set up after the sacking of Chris Woods as United’s goalkeeper coach, choosing to concentrate on his ambassadorial roles.
This includes being part of Laureus, a charity which uses sport to help children around the world.
Main image courtesy of Laureus, with thanks.