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Jason Wilcox explains crucial element Man United need, Erik ten Hag believes he’s offering it



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Credit: Southampton

Jason Wilcox has explained one crucial element that is needed at Manchester United but Erik ten Hag believes he’s already offering it.

Wilcox, 53, joined United in an official capacity earlier this month as technical director in one of several moves INEOS have planned to make upstairs.

Omar Berrada will join the club as CEO in the summer after his gardening period ends, replacing the departed Richard Arnold.

Dan Ashworth is also expected to take the reigns as the sporting director once The Reds find an agreement with Newcastle United over a compensation fee.

Wilcox has already been tasked with several different jobs since he has joined, with an assessment of Erik ten Hag and his squad being one of them.

The former Manchester City academy chief worked at Southampton as the director of football and explained a crucial element to his job was to bring an alignment throughout the club. He will certainly want to ensure this is the same at United.

“My job is to come in and make sure we’ve got alignment where the first team manager plays a certain way and the academy teams play a certain way and then we can transition creating this pathway for the younger players. That’s what I’m here to do,” he said when he was appointed at Southampton.

“I think when you don’t have alignment and you have inconsistency of work, it takes you a lot longer to get there and you’re being reactive all the time. So I’ve been brought up now for the last 12 years on a complete alignment from top to bottom from the board to the director of football to the first team manager to the academy director.

“Then when you get that alignment of thinking and you understand profiles of players, you understand what’s happening on the pitch, you can build and you can grow and even when you’re losing football matches, you can actually understand where you’re going wrong or when you win football matches you can understand what you’re what we’re doing really well and have clear measures.”

Despite the poor form in the first team, Ten Hag believes that he is offering that pathway throughout the club, with Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho among the academy players starring for the first team now.

“Strengthening the pathway between the academy and the first team was one of my priorities when I came to the club, working together with Darren Fletcher as the connector and [academy director] Nick Cox and his staff to develop a shared game model, with consistent training methods and playing styles,” Ten Hag stated last week.

“We are seeing the results of that this season, with Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo becoming important parts of the first team, and several others competing to join them.

“A top club can never succeed with homegrown players alone, but they will always be an important part of Manchester United. Ethan (Wheatley) can be proud to become the latest part of that story and others who show the right talent and winning attitude can follow him.”