A worrying update has emerged on Newcastle’s pursuit of Marc Overmars, regarding the sporting director role at St. James’ Park.
According to Duncan Castles of The Times, the Dutchman will not be taking the job and the Magpies will now be looking at other candidates, although it remains unclear as to whether he rejected an offer or was not given the choice.
This comes after The Mirror reported last week that PIF had opened talks with the former Arsenal man over a deal to join the club.
This update from Castles will surely leave Newcastle fans feeling gutted. Overmars has enjoyed success in a behind-the-scenes role at Ajax since becoming their director of football in 2012, having previously been a technical coach in the academy after retiring as a player – representing the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal.
CIES Football Observatory recently named Ajax as the top training club in Europe in 2021, having trained the most footballers playing in 31 top divisions across the continent. 81 players are currently playing professional football in Europe after coming through the academy at the Dutch giants, showing the incredible work being done by the Amsterdam club.
Overmars, along with manager Erik ten Hag, has created an environment where young players have a pathway to the first team and the right conditions to thrive when they get there. This has resulted in the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt coming through the ranks before sealing £75m+ transfers to Barcelona and Juventus respectively in recent years.
The Dutch director, therefore, could have joined Newcastle and installed a similar philosophy in an attempt to unearth the next Alan Shearer or Paul Gascoigne. Magpies supporters would have no doubt enjoyed this as it would mean more homegrown players potentially coming through their ranks to play in the first team. Mix that with some new, experienced, signings and there would have been reasons to get excited.
This is why the update from Castles will be gutting for the Toon Army to read, as Overmars could have been an excellent appointment for the club given his impressive track record of developing youth with Ajax. It will be interesting to see where PIF go now in their pursuit of a figure to work alongside whoever the new head coach ends up being.