Manchester United appoint Jurgen Klopp’s former fitness coach as deputy director of football

Manchester United have appointed one of Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp’s former fitness coaches as assistant director of football amid the latest spate of structural changes at Old Trafford.

Andy O’Boyle joins United from the Premier League, where for the past five years he has been Head of Elite Performance, responsible for advising clubs on talent identification and recruitment, performance analysis, sports science and medicine, psychology and credit management.

He will report directly to John Murtough, United’s increasingly influential director of football.

O’Boyle’s arrival is expected to relieve around two-thirds of Murtough’s week by removing much of the day-to-day red tape currently appearing on his desk and allowing him to focus on the first team and critical ones Recruitment issue as squad transformation efforts intensify under new coach Erik ten Hag.

Before moving to the Premier League, O’Boyle was at Liverpool for almost six years, first as head of fitness elite development before becoming first-team fitness coach when Klopp took charge in October 2015.

A lifelong United fan who played at one of the club’s centers of excellence in his native Northern Ireland as a youngster, O’Boyle worked briefly as a manager at United’s academy 16 years ago.

He will complete his Uefa professional coaching license this summer and is also working on a PhD, having already obtained a Masters in sports science. O’Boyle was Head of Sport Science at Coventry for three years between 2008 and 2011.

Conducting an extensive interview, Murtough wanted a well-rounded candidate with a sound knowledge of football who would be comfortable in a variety of fields.

With nine direct reports across a range of departments, there have been concerns that Murtough is spread too thinly, but O’Boyle’s arrival will ease his burden considerably and allow him to focus much more on recruiting. This will be further facilitated by the appointment of a head of women’s football planned for this summer.

“We are delighted to welcome Andy back to Manchester United to take on this important role in running the club,” said Murtough. “Andy has experience in all technical aspects of football, from fitness and sports science to scouting and recruitment.

“This will make him a valuable addition to my team at Carrington as we continue to strengthen leadership and strategic planning across all our football activities.”

O’Boyle – who has also been at the heart of the Premier League’s response to the Covid challenges – said: “I am delighted to return to Manchester United at such an exciting time for the club as the first team prepares for a fresh start start under Erik ten Hag and the academy and women’s teams are getting stronger and stronger.”

United have undergone a significant structural change since Ed Woodward left at the end of January and Richard Arnold took over as Chief Executive.

Senior scouts Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout have left and United’s chief negotiator, Matt Judge, is serving his notice period after deciding to leave the club.

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