Man Utd chief Dan Ashworth has ace up his sleeve to accelerate Erik ten Hag transfer plans – Football News

Man Utd chief Dan Ashworth has ace up his sleeve to accelerate Erik ten Hag transfer plans

Man Utd sporting director Dan Ashworth has a transfer ace up his sleeve (Image: Getty)

Dan Ashworth will oversee a data revolution at Manchester United to improve the club’s transfer success. The Red Devils sporting director is known to be keen on football analytics platform TransferRoom, which he used at former clubs Newcastle and Brighton.

Ashworth has a reputation as one of the finest minds in English football. Along with Gareth Southgate, he was one of the brains behind the revamped academy system in the early 2010s, which has produced the current crop of England stars.

A source familiar with how Ashworth operated at the Football Association described him as “driving things” at a time of great upheaval following a succession of disappointing tournaments for the national team.

Ashworth moved from the FA to Brighton in 2018 and joined Newcastle following their Saudi Arabian-backed takeover in 2022. Embracing a data-led approach has been key to his success in each of his positions.

Express Sport understands that at both Brighton and Newcastle, Ashworth was keen on the analytics platform TransferRoom, a digital marketplace used by over 700 clubs. TransferRoom offers live market intelligence to help clubs identify new signings.

Speaking to Express Sport in December, TransferRoom’s CEO, Jonas Ankersen, pointed out that the platform has democratised the transfer window by putting key figures at clubs in one space where they can communicate and strike deals.

“When I started TransferRoom, many clubs were not even into using or believing in data, but today clubs are much more data driven and embrace all opportunities to become more efficient. The growth of TransferRoom is a testimony to that,” Ankersen said.

TransferRoom has developed an Expected Transfer Value metric to help clubs learn how much they should spend on a player. United have been criticised for over-spending on players over the past decade.

Dan Ashworth

Man Utd have finally lured Dan Ashworth from Newcastle (Image: Getty)

The platform also hosts frequent in-person summits, of which Ashworth is known to attend. The 53-year-old is a keen networker and will improve relations between United and clubs around the world.

Ankersen said: “Our in-person, speed-dating style events have grown massively in popularity and are bigger than ever. With hundreds of clubs attending, it is extremely efficient and within two days you can meet so many clubs.”

On Thursday, Ashworth spoke for the first time since being announced as United’s new sporting director. INEOS – who are keen to exploit data and ‘marginal gains’ – had pursued a deal with Newcastle and have finally agreed a compensation package which is a record fee for an individual with his job title.

Reacting to Erik ten Hag’s new contract, Ashworth said: “With two trophies in the past two seasons, Erik has reinforced his record as one of the most consistently successful coaches in European football.

Erik ten Hag

Dan Ashworth has praised Erik ten Hag after the Dutchman signed a new Man Utd contract (Image: Getty)

“While the club’s review of last season highlighted areas for improvement, it also reached a clear conclusion that Erik was the best partner for us to work with in driving up standards and outcomes.

“This group of players and staff have already shown they are capable of competing and winning at the top level. Now we need to do it more consistently.

“With our strengthened football leadership team now in place, we are looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Erik to achieve our shared ambitions for this football club.”

INEOS are set to accelerate their transfer plans over the coming weeks. Ashworth’s use of TransferRoom will be beneficial as United seek to improve Ten Hag’s squad.