Dan Ashworth’s likely move to Newcastle United has been praised by pundit Alan Hutton.
What’s the latest Newcastle United news?
After a reasonably lengthy search, Ashworth looks set to be appointed as first sporting director of the PIF era. A hugely respected figure in the game, Brighton have put the FA’s former head of elite development on gardening leave as he awaits to be given the green light to join Newcastle.
Credited with creating the ‘England DNA’ to have served the national team well as they bid to finally win a major tournament, Ashworth could be a huge appointment. If Newcastle have ambitions to challenge the top order in European football, the right kind of structure needs to be put into place and, certainly, the 50-year-old has an impressive track record.
What could Dan Ashworth bring to Newcastle?
Earlier this month, The Athletic suggested Ashworth’s “specialist subject is player development. His biggest influence has been in accentuating pathways from the academy and via development out on loan for young players.”
That, then, could hint at a more organic growth for Newcastle over the years rather than simply spending money on big names every summer. While there’s nothing to suggest the club won’t invest of course, there were reports as far back as October in the wake of the takeover that those behind the scenes were looking towards the RB Leipzig model, creating and moulding young talent under a specific structure.
Such a vision, coupled with the financial might of the owners, is a hugely exciting prospect. Indeed, Manchester United offer a warning on what running a rich club with no set plan can look like, so it seems wise to build from the ground up as soon as possible.
What has been said about Ashworth?
Speaking to Football Insider, Hutton praised the potential move.
“For Newcastle to get him on board, especially with how you see them moving forward, they need somebody with that experience at the head of it, working it all and putting things into place,” he said.
“Newcastle are a little bit all over the place when it comes to that. I know they’ve had the takeover but you can’t just go and fling your money here, there and everywhere and expect it to work out.
“You need top people in the big jobs. For him coming in, I think it’s massive for them moving forward. This could be the real final piece of the puzzle to really kick them on. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do.”