Manchester United’s search for a technical director should stop and end with Edwin van der Sar.
Chief executive Ed Woodward has made clear United intend to appoint a figurehead, to support Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Van der Sar is excelling in such a role at Ajax, where he works under the title of ‘chief executive officer’.
The Dutchman’s brief is to oversee the club’s incomings and outgoings in partnership with the manager, and to manage the club’s overall, ethos, strategy and academy.
His Ajax side have taken Europe by storm this season, knocking out Juventus and Real Madrid on their way to the Champions League semi-finals.
United beat Ajax in the 2017 Europa League final. They have come a long way. United have plenty of work to do.
Best man for the job
Van der Sar is already a hero at United, winning the 2008 Champions League final with a penalty shootout save from Nicolas Anelka.
He understands what makes United special, played under Sir Alex Ferguson, and was a teammate of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Even better, this is not a nostalgic move, Van der Sar is supremely qualified for the role. In fact there might not be anybody in Europe better suited.
The only problem is whether United can tempt him away. Ajax’s success may make it difficult to leave.
That’s United’s challenge, to do everything they can to tempt Van der Sar away.
If Woodward is serious about giving United an overhaul from the academy upwards, the Dutchman is the best man to help oversee it.