Ed Woodward’s imminent departure at the end of this year means that Manchester United will have to search for his replacement. However, it appears that the Red Devils have already found the perfect candidate for the job.
According to the Mirror, Manchester United have identified Edwin van der Saar as the ideal replacement for outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. The former United goalkeeper is currently working as the chief executive at Ajax and might not be averse to taking up a similar role at Old Trafford.
Woodward’s eight years at the helm of Manchester United is likely to be considered a failure. The Red Devils invested around £941m under his watch but failed to secure silverware in five of the last seven seasons.
Woodward's time at the club was marred by failed signings and the less than impressive appointments of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho, as managers. Fans, however, will appreciate his decision to install Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge of the club, a move that seems to have steered the Red Devils in the right direction.
Manchester United now need a proper football person to replace Woodward and there’s no one better in sight than van der Saar. The Dutchman has been fantastic in his role at Ajax and – like Solskjaer – knows his way around Old Trafford.
Van der Saar won the Premier League as well as the Champions League with Manchester United and is aware of the demands at the club. The Dutchman also shares a wonderful rapport with the fans, which was further intensified with his wonderful open letter during Donny van de Beek’s transfer.
In five years at Ajax, Van der Saar has shown trust in youth, invested in the club's philosophy, and even helped them reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
The Dutchman has done some splendid business in the transfer market as well, most notably bringing Dusan Tadic to the club. He is everything Manchester United needs in a top role right now. Interestingly, Tadic, signed as a 29-year-old, has 79 goals from 142 games so far.
Manchester United are currently second in the Premier League and will face AS Roma in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals. The Red Devils are assured of a Champions League berth next season and are slowly becoming a force to reckon with under their Norwegian manager.