‘His DNA is what we want’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United were desperate to keep former player Darren Fletcher at Old Trafford after his appointment as technical director as he hails the Scot as a ‘serial winner’
- United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed Darren Fletcher’s new role at the club
- The Scot has been appointed as technical director in a shake-up at the top
- Solskjaer said Fletcher was a ‘serial winner’ and possessed ‘the DNA we want’
- He said the club made it a priority to ensure the ex-player stayed at Old Trafford
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed the appointment of ‘serial winner’ Darren Fletcher as the club’s new technical director, saying: ‘His DNA is what we want’.
The club announced a shake-up of their top hierarchy on Wednesday, with head of football development John Murtough being promoted to football director and first team coach Fletcher working alongside him. Meanwhile, transfer chief Matt Judge has formally been named as director of football negotiations.
Fletcher, who made more than 340 first-team appearances at Old Trafford, will continue to help out as a coach for the rest of the season before taking on his new role. It will see him work with officials and advise the club over various different aspects and ensure their philosophy is delivered.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Darren Fletcher (R) as a ‘serial winner’ after his appointment as Man United’s technical director
The Scot (R) was unveiled alongside John Murtough (L) who will be the club’s football director
Speaking about Fletcher ahead of United’s Europa League Last-16 tie against AC Milan on Thursday, Solskjaer – who played alongside the Scot for four years at Old Trafford – said the club were desperate not to lose him because of his history with the club and ‘bright eye’ for the game.
‘A few months back when we were making the final decision, there were a few other things for Darren. We moved [former coach] Mark Dempsey to the academy and there was a coaching spot.
‘If there was one thing I was sure of, it was “we cannot lose Darren”. He has history with the club, he’s been brought up here from a young boy to a Champions League winner and serial winner. His DNA is what we want.
Solskjaer believes Fletcher has ‘the DNA we want’ after many years of success at Old Trafford
‘He went away to other clubs and he’s got fresh ideas too. He’s got a bright eye for football and following the development of youngsters.
‘He can combine these two, doing a little less coaching and now he can have an influence on the other side of it – recruitment, speaking to players and selling United as the club he knows it is.’
Fletcher won the Premier League five times as well as the Champions League with the former midfielder as key player under Sir Alex Ferguson.
United CEO Ed Woodward said Fletcher ‘commands respect’ and understands the club, with the club creating the role for the first time in their history.
The Norwegian, who played with Fletcher for four years, said he had a ‘bright eye’ for the game
‘Darren’s stellar achievements as a player and his own journey from academy to Premier League and Champions League winner means he naturally commands respect and understands this vital part of the club’s DNA,’ he said.
‘In this new role, the first in our history, he will deliver technical advice across all aspects of the football department as well as contributing to the communication and delivery of our football philosophy across all areas of the club.
‘I am delighted that John and Darren have accepted these roles and I look forward to the contribution they will make, together with Ole and the rest of the staff, as we build toward future success.’
The United boss says his players are looking forward to taking on AC Milan in the Europa League said the tie had a ‘Champions League’ feel
United are preparing for a big home game against Italian giants Milan on Thursday, with the Serie A outfit resurgent this season and chasing a place in the Champions League as they sit second in the league.
The two teams have come up against each other a few times in Europe’s cup competition in the past, and Solskjaer admitted the fixture has a Champions League feel about it.
‘When you draw AC Milan – that sounds Champions league like and I’ve had the ultimate admiration for them for many years.
‘Their tradition, their history, their quality. They’re an absolute class act and have rebuilt again, challenging at the top, so it’s nice to see them back up there.’