Exclusive: John Hartson urges Man United to appoint a director of football

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…

Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, John Hartson has talked up the major benefits a director of football would have at Manchester United.

The Red Devils have come under heavy fire for their scatter-gun approach to the transfer market in recent years, with players of vastly different profiles being signed under various managers.

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It is a policy that has unquestionably led to the mess Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently attempting to fix, and Hartson has suggested appointing a director of football would help bring a sense of control and decisiveness to the club.

He told Football FanCast: “Get a director of football in, somebody very experienced, somebody who’s done the job before and not an ex-player. Somebody who’s maybe managed before. Just to go in and help Solskjaer and oversee one or two of the signings. I think that would be a great move for United.

“They need someone who’s been there, seen it and done it at big clubs and can give sound, solid advice to Solskjaer.”

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Make no mistake about it, United are in desperate need for a director of football. Ed Woodward has come under increasing, and understandable, scrutiny for his role in the club’s poor recruitment over the past few seasons, and that is a direct result of not having someone who is football-oriented making those decisions.

Having an ex-manager who has been around the block and can liaise with Solskjaer and discuss things on a football level, rather than on a business one, would pay huge dividends for the Red Devils.

As well as the added focus they would bring to the club’s recruitment strategy, they could play a major part in helping the United boss turn things around.

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Solskjaer’s inexperience has been a stick to beat the Norwegian with since his permanent appointment, and so having an almost ‘mentor-like’ figure voice their thoughts and act as a sounding board would help streamline matters.

United need major help behind the scenes, and Hartson’s calls for a director of football are absolutely spot on.