Exclusive: “The kind of challenge he’s been looking for” – French football expert on Paul Mitchell to Man Utd

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Former Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell could be set to move to Manchester United if Sir Jim Ratcliffe is successful in purchasing a 25% stake in the Premier League giants.

Discussing this in his exclusive Daily Briefing column, French football journalist Jonathan Johnson provided some insight into how well Mitchell had done during his time in Ligue 1 with Monaco, and what he could bring to Man Utd.

Johnson admitted that Mitchell had perhaps not had the success he will have hoped for at Monaco, though he had some positive impact at the club, whilst also having impressive stints at RB Leipzig and other big clubs on his CV.

United certainly need an overhaul to their recruitment after a series of poorly-performing over-priced signings in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, but is Mitchell up to the challenge of turning things around at a big but under-achieving club like MUFC?

Discussing Mitchell’s qualities, Johnson said: “It looks like we could see Paul Mitchell brought in as sporting director at United if the INEOS deal goes through, and it’s no surprise to see him being linked with a big Premier League job after leaving Monaco.

“Even if things didn’t go quite as well for him at Monaco as he perhaps would’ve hoped, I do rate Mitchell. He did a very good job of streamlining a very bloated squad, and also did well to strengthen that connection with their Belgian feeder club Cercle Brugge.

“In terms of form and achievement on the pitch, Mitchell probably didn’t quite deliver what was hoped for, with the club being out of the Champions League undoubtedly a failure. They’re doing better this season, so it could be argued that that’s some redemption for Monaco after the foundations laid by Mitchell.

“Mitchell’s time at Monaco isn’t everything though, as he has other work he can look back on proudly, particularly with RB Leipzig, and I’m not surprised he seems set to return to the Premier League. He’s been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Newcastle in the past and he remains one of the top names in that line of work.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Mitchell took on an even bigger role than just sporting director, perhaps in a multi-club environment with a role at Nice as well as United. Let’s see how that works out, but overall his appointment is a bit of a no-brainer for United, who have room to improve in terms of their recruitment and the overall structure of the club – I think that’s the kind of challenge he’s been looking for for a while.”

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