Man United appoint new director to work on playing style and transfer targets

Manchester United have appointed Dominic Jordan to be the club’s first Director of Data Science.

His role will be to handle the club’s footballing analytics, with the aim of providing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co a “competitive advantage.”

The Cambridge University graduate will analyse data from both internal and external sources, and is set to build a team of date scientist and analyst using date to help the club’s on-pitch performance and it’s moves in the transfer market.

Jordan has joined United from the Manchester-based N Brown Group, in which he led a team of data scientists, engineers and analysts, optimising the operations of one of the UK’s largest online retailers.

The appointment of the Cambridge University graduate is one of number changes to United’s structure in 2021 following the appointment of John Murtough as Football Director and former midfielder Darren Fletcher as Technical Director in March.

Jordan said: “Data science is the process of using scientific methods to extract knowledge and insights from noisy data, and applying that knowledge to deliver actionable insights.

“So, my job will be to build a team of data scientists and analysts who will gather, clean and combine data from all kinds of sources to help the true experts make effective decisions with more confidence.

“There has been an explosion in data collection and analytics around football over recent years and that’s going to continue: more and more data collected about more and more players and teams.

Speaking about Jordan’s appointment, Murtough said: “We already make extensive use of data to analyse players’ performance and physical condition, and to scout opponents and recruitment targets.

“But there is huge potential to strengthen our existing capabilities, and build new ones, as part of a more integrated approach to managing and using data.”

He stated: “Ultimately, it’s about ensuring that players, coaches and support staff are equipped with the best possible information with which to make the right decisions, quickly.”

Murtough recently spoke at a recent fans’ forum, in which he revealed “future plans” for the club were being discussed with current boss Solskjaer.

“We’re aiming for consistency and continuity in recruitment. We have a full process in place, making sure we’re planned in what we do,” the Football Director said. “Squad development is never-ending and constantly evolving.

“We’re sitting down with Ole and we’re talking about future plans in terms of where the squad will go and how we think it will develop.”

Murtough says Solskjaer’s squad has a “good balance,” noting the importance of planning for success in years to come.

“We want to balance squads with the right profile in terms of positions and in terms of age,” he explained. “The current squad has good balance with young, exciting players coming through, and those in the middle in the prime of their careers.

“And then you’ve the more experienced group – we can learn a lot from them, and they’re already having an impact on some of the younger players. We want a squad that can challenge today but also in the future as well.”