This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Manchester United could look towards Norwich City’s Stuart Webber as a potential replacement for Ed Woodward.
TalkSPORT presenter Alex Crook has revealed that the Red Devils are admirers of the Canaries’ sporting director as they look at potential replacements for Woodward.
The Manchester United chief is due to leave his post at the end of the year following his resignation amid the European Super League controversy from earlier this week.
Webber has established himself as a vital part of the Canaries’ operation, but could he be a good appointment for Manchester United?
The team at FLW have their say…
There is plenty to admire about the work that Webber has done at Carrow Road since he arrived at the club as their new Sporting Director in 2017. He has played a key part in helping the Canaries earn promotion to the Premier League in two of the last three seasons.
Recruitment and the development of young players are two of the things that Norwich have in the main performed very well with since Webber became their Sporting Director. He has developed a strong relationship with Daniel Farke and has helped the German to establish himself in English football and gain the full backing of everyone associated with the club.
The Manchester United role would be a massive step for him and it is a daunting prospect at the moment with relations between the club and their supporters at an all time low after recent events. Ed Woodward was about as maligned a club figure as you would see amongst their fanbase and in many ways whoever their owners appoint is never going to have the full faith of the fans.
Webber would therefore be up against it from the outset. He has the track record to suggest he could do very good work with the resources that would be at his disposal. However, whether he would be able to come in and help to get the fans back on board at Old Trafford remains to be seen. It might be too big a job for anyone at the moment.
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If you look at how Webber has carried himself at Norwich over the last few years, it is hard to not be impressed.
He’s been behind some great decisions with Daniel Farke, whilst the Norwich recruitment has also been good.
When you look at the flip side of this coin, Woodward has been embarrassing with some of his own decision making, and Webber’s commitment to a project puts him to shame.
We are talking about a different calibre of club, admittedly, but I’d have no issue with Webber heading for Old Trafford.
I think he’d be a sound option.
This is a tough one.
Firstly, it’s clear that Webber is excellent at what he does, with his record at Norwich, and previous spell with Huddersfield, proving that. He has an eye for a player and operates well within a budget.
However, the step up from Norwich to Manchester United is significant, and he would be under the spotlight every day if he worked at Old Trafford. Plus, he would be working in a different world entirely, in terms of finances, players, agents and pressure.
But, there’s nothing to say he wouldn’t be able to handle that step up, and he would surely love the chance to test himself at the highest level – providing he is given the freedom to do his job, because United had a restructure recently.
From Norwich’s perspective, they will already have contingency plans in place for when Webber does leave, and whilst it would be a blow, they are in a strong position as a club to cope.