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Casper exclusive: Man Utd must follow Man City with sporting director hire

Class of 92' graduate Chris Casper says Manchester United should follow in the footsteps of their rivals by hiring a sporting director.

The Red Devils have gone from perennial champions under Sir Alex Ferguson to floating in the Premier League abyss six years after the great Scot's departure.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have been and gone, and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be next with his team sitting 12th on the table.

Every United fan and their dog have had an opinion on where the club's gone wrong, with recruitment the term heard frequently amongst pub banter and social media threads.

United are looking for a sporting director to rectify the problem, with a range of names thrown around from RB Leipzig mastermind Paul Mitchell to ex-United leader Rio Ferdinand.

But news of an appointment has dried up and recruitment has faltered as a result, as Solskjaer's sudden shortage of attacking options can attest.

United are undoubtedly leaps and bounds behind league leaders Manchester City and Liverpool, and Salford City sporting director Casper thinks filling the new position will allow for maximum efficiency throughout the club.

Asked if it would be smart move, Casper told TribalFootball.com: "Yeah I think so. Especially when you look at Txiki Begiristain with Man City and Michael Edwards at Liverpool as their sporting directors.

"I think it's just about having that link with the manager, I think it's really important. The strategic plan and the plan the owners are looking to achieve, I think that's got to be clear in how you want to achieve it and you need to someone who is going to help co-ordinate that.

"You can lack support for all the different departments, and especially for the manager on the side of recruiting staff, recruiting players and take away a lot of the nonsense that managers in the past have had to deal with, speaking to agents and trying to deal with players and things like that.

"The head coaches that Man City and Liverpool have got are unbelievable coaches and they can focus on what they do best and that's working with players on the training and getting the best out of them. And it's clearly working for them because they are the best two teams in the league."

Solskjaer has intimated United would be targeting young and hungry British players in their recruitment drive this past summer.

Signings Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all meet those requirements, which Casper thinks is a wise idea for the future.

He added: "It's sensible. It's got to be a long-term strategic plan.

"It can't be short-term, over one year or 18 months. It has to be a five, ten-year plan of what they're going to do. You look at Manchester City, obviously not with British players, but they have a certain identity of a player that they want to bring in and they've been doing it for the last eight to ten years.

"That's a long-term strategy and plan that's flourishing. That's what Man Utd has to look towards now and hopefully this is the start of young players being given an opportunity.

"It's the biggest club in the world and they've got to get back to hopefully where they were seven or eight years ago, regularly challenging for the Premier League and Champions League."

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Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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