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One genius move from Dan Ashworth’s Man United head of recruitment pick made Brighton £100m



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News breaking on Wednesday morning points towards the idea that Dan Ashworth will leave Newcastle to join Manchester United as the sporting director at Old Trafford.

This is according to the Manchester Evening News, where it is claimed that Dan Ashworth “wants” to leave Newcastle to join Manchester United in the new Old Trafford role as part of INEOS‘ rebuild of the club.

Further to this, ESPN add that Ashworth is set to have an influential role in other appointments within the recruitment department and is a “big admirer” of Sam Jewell, Brighton’s current head of recruitment.

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Brighton have had immense success across the last five seasons, especially financially, with the club being able to sniff out high-level talent and sign early before flipping them for a huge profit a few years later.

Jewell has been a crucial part of that in recent times, having held the role of ‘emerging talent scouting manager’ at Brighton since 2018 before being promoted to become Brighton’s head of recruitment on an interim basis in November 2022 before assuming the role permanently since February 2023.

“I learnt Spanish during lockdown, and it has helped me communicate with players when I’ve been out there and in selling the project to the players’ families,” Jewell told The Athletic in 2023.

“Remember, no English is spoken out there, so I’d like to think that speaking Spanish has played a small part in helping the guys join us.”

This move from Jewell played a huge part in them signing four players from South America, before selling two of them on for huge profits.

“The only way you’re going to attract the top young talent is if they can see a route into the first team, given you’re competing against some of the biggest clubs in the world. That’s what happened with Alexis [Mac Allister], Moises [Caicedo], Facundo [Buonanotte], and Julio [Enciso] — we could sell them a pathway to the first team relatively quickly.”

Brighton signed Mac Allister for just over £7 million in January 2019, before selling him to Liverpool for around £35 million in July 2023, tabling a profit of £28 million.

Caicedo joined Brighton in 2021 for around £24 million before being sold to Chelsea two years later for just under £100 million, presenting a profit of around £75 million.

Together, these two players saw Brighton make an overall transfer profit of around £100 million, with both Buonanotte and Enciso also expected to be sold for huge profits in a few year’s time.

Jewell’s simple decision to learn Spanish has helped his current club land over £100 million in sales in recent years – no wonder Ashworth is so fond of potentially bringing him on within the new-look recruitment department at Old Trafford.