Manchester United’s appointment of Ben Clarke has been confirmed as the club continues their revamp of the recruitment wing of the academy.
A report by The Peoples Person previously covered how Clarke had been head-hunted by Old Trafford officials after impressing in his role at current club, Cardiff City.
Clarke has thrived as the Head of Academy Recruitment at the Welsh side, having progressed through the ranks from the role of Performance Analyst.
He was said to have “agreed terms” on relocating to Old Trafford a few weeks ago, but a report by Peter O’Rourke has confirmed the move now.
O’Rourke (footballinsider247) has revealed the move has been “completed” with Clarke arriving with plenty of time prior to the January transfer window.
Clarke’s new role is described by O’Rourke as being to “head up their academy recruitment” with sources at Old Trafford revealing the club are attempting to “beef up” their talent spotting department.
Clarke’s Linkedin profile reveals his role to be “Lead Pre-Academy Scout at Manchester United” suggesting his main source of recruitment will a much younger age bracket than most fans will be aware of.
It’s an area the club has traditionally thrived in, however, with the consistent heartbeats of Sir Alex Ferguson’s best sides being academy graduates.
Erik ten Hag has reportedly sought to re-establish this component of United’s identity with a renewed focus on the youth set-up, describing the academy as the “vision for the future” of the club.
The Peoples Person revealed in the summer that “expectations” of the academy had “gone up another level” since the Dutchman’s appointment.
Ten Hag was even reported to have personally intervened following a loss by a United youth side to a team they were expected to easily beat, demanding answers for why such a defeat had occurred. While this may seem like excessive micromanagement, it speaks to the focus and importance the Dutch manager places on standards, at every level of the club.
Ten Hag has spoken of the need for “cooperation between all the different departments” at United, from the first-team right down to the U15’s. The pursuit, and subsequent appointment, of Clarke appears to be a move made with this desire in mind.