John Murtough is Man Utd's first ever Football Director who was in charge of Everton's academy when David Moyes was boss

BETTER the Red Devil you know.

Manchester United have appointed John Murtough, 48, as their first ever Football Director.

But Murtough isn't an unknown – having already established his name at Old Trafford.

He joined the club in 2013 as Head of Football Development, after a recommendation by former United boss David Moyes.

In his seven years, Murtough has completely overhauled the Premier League side's academy and recruitment department.

The Liverpudlian was a former Toffee…

WORKING WITH MOYES

When Moyes was manager of Everton, Murtough started out as a sports scientist.

He worked his way up to the role of Head of Performance, before leaving in 2012 to become Head of Elite Performance for the Premier League.

In November 2013, Murtough joined United as their first ever Head of Football Development – just months after Moyes was appointed as manager.


Crucially, he focused on the club's youth policy, expanding their recruitment process and building their academy.

Under Murtough, young prospects including Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood blossomed into first team starters.

And he had the ear of Ed Woodward, who became a close confidant.

HANDS ON

Murtough's hands-on approach at United showed his dedication to the job.

Before the club signed talented youngster Hannibal Mejbri from Monaco for £9million, he joined French scout Mathieu Seckinger on a trip to Norway to watch the kid play.

Murtough is also a forward-thinker, who considers new ways of acquiring football knowledge.


Last year, with fears the club were falling behind the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, he began to develop the club's data science strategy.

In 2018, Murtough also understood the emergence of women's football and played an integral role in launching Manchester United's women's team.

CHALLENGING ROLE

Murtough will be tasked with overseeing operations and strategy across all football functions at Manchester United.

Previous reports suggested that former goalie Edwin van der Saar, who works in the same role at Ajax, was being considered.

And it was also said that United wanted to make a Football Director appointment earlier, but were swayed by ex-manager Jose Mourinho who was against the idea.

But Murtough is the man who will carry the mantle.


He said: “This is such an exciting time for everyone at Manchester United with the first team, Academy and Women’s team all performing strongly, and plenty of development still to come. 

"It’s a privilege to be part of that process, and an honour to lead Manchester United’s football department, working alongside Ole, Casey and so many other truly outstanding staff all dedicated to delivering success to this club.”

And that's the key word United fans will hope for if Murtough proves to be a good appointment… success.

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