In what is a major revamp in the recruitment team, Manchester United have appointed 50 new scouts in the last 10 months. These scouts will be given responsibility to hunt for talented footballers across the globe.
With English Premier League (EPL) clubs getting richer by the year, it seems that Man United want to stay ahead of their competitors and be among the first to note special talents. The appointments follow a root-and-branch review into the previous recruitment system.
Manchester City, who have seen an incredible growth in their recent youth recruitment, have lost two of their scouts to their town rivals after Man United offered the scouts mouth-watering incentives. The Red Devils also hired two other scouts based in the UK.
The current recruitment team has been changed from the time it was under the regime of Sir Alex Ferguson when the team was smaller and reported to mainly the manager. Currently, the first-team and academy recruitment has been made under the same wing, with at least two scouts in the most important countries.
The Old Trafford club have been making the acquisitions since January 2016 with the help of Executive Search firm, Nolan Partners. Marcel Bout – who was the opposition scout under the previous manager, Louis van Gaal – has been promoted to Head of Global Scouting following the team restructuring.
Bout will be working alongside Man United's chief scout, Jim Lawlor. After van Gaal was sacked at the end of last season, Bout sought the Dutchman's permission to stay at Old Trafford. The 53-year-old scout had also stayed longer at Bayern Munich after van Gaal had departed in 2011.
A look at the new arrivals
Some of the new arrivals include Armand Benneker, Roy Beukenkamp, Henny de Regt and Tommy Moller Nielsen. The Belgian Benneker was a former defender at Scottish club, Dundee United. He was working as a scout for Swiss club St. Gallen.
Beukenkamp, de Regt and Nielsen are all working as scouts in Europe, with Nielsen being assigned the Scandinavian region. Many EPL clubs have been looking at Scandinavia as a potential region to recruit talented players for lower prices than in other regions.
The Man United scouts will travel to Manchester twice a year and submit their findings as the club looks to organise their recruitment strategy. Nicky Butt, Head of the Academy and Nick Cox, Academy Operations Manager, will be keen to recruit talent teenagers at Carrington, where there has been a dearth of talent of late.