Dan Ashworth
Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth.
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Dan Ashworth’s best signings amid Manchester United links

Manchester United are interested in appointing Dan Ashworth as the club’s new sporting director, with the Red Devils understood to have held talks with the Newcastle chief.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his INEOS group have made Ashworth their top target, as Manchester United’s new minority owners begin to restructure the hierarchy at Old Trafford.

Ashworth has forged a fine reputation across spells at several English clubs, having worked at West Bromwich Albion and Brighton before his move to St James’ Park in 2022. Manchester United will hope, if successful in their pursuit, that Ashworth can help correct a wretched recent record in the transfer market.

We’ve decided to look at five of Dan Ashworth’s best signings.

Five of Dan Ashworth’s best signings amid Manchester United links:

Peter Odemwingie

Ashworth has cited Peter Odemwingie as his best-value signing at West Brom, after securing the signing of the striker from Lokomotiv Moscow for a fee of around €3m (£2.5m). The Nigerian had been keen to leave the Russian side and proved to be an instant hit at The Hawthorns, marking his debut with a winning goal against Sunderland.

Odemwingie scored 15 league goals during his first Premier League season and 30 in 87 appearances for West Brom in the top flight. No player has ever scored more Premier League goals for the Baggies, with Odemwingie – farcical attempt to force a move to Queens Park Rangers aside – a major success in the Midlands.

The forward was named Premier League Player of the Month on three occasions at West Brom, with Gareth Bale, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Sadio Mane among the company he keeps as a three-time winner of the award.

Deadline Day Folklore: When Peter Odemwingie rocked up to Loftus Road only to get locked out

Alexis Mac Allister

Ashworth’s influence helped Brighton create one of the best recruitment networks in Europe, with the Seagulls signing untapped potential from right across the globe.

Alexis Mac Allister signed for Brighton from Argentinos Juniors for a fee of £6.9m, an investment that would be repaid handsomely in performances and profit. After loan spells at his former side and Boca Juniors, Mac Allister broke into the Brighton team and shone.

His final season with the club saw the midfielder score 10 league goals from midfield and become Brighton’s first-ever World Cup winner, following his role in Argentina’s triumph in Qatar.

Mac Allister departed to sign for Liverpool for an initial fee of £35m in 2023. That figure could rise to £55m with add-ons.

Marc Cucurella

A terrific turnaround from Brighton who bought low and sold high on Marc Cucurella.

The Seagulls signed the Spanish left-back from Getafe after matching the £15 million release clause in Cucurella’s contract. He made an immediate impact with a run of strong performances adding to Brighton’s hit list of new signings.

Cucurella’s cavalier performances from full-back helped Brighton to a ninth-place finish – the highest in the club’s history at the time – and saw the Spaniard scoop up individual acclaim. At the club’s end-of-season awards, he won Brighton’s Players’ Player of the Season and Player of the Season gongs.

Chelsea and Manchester City battled to sign him in the summer with the former winning the race to secure a £62m deal. He’s since struggled in the capital but was brilliant business for Brighton.

Moises Caicedo

Moises Caicedo landed Brighton a gargantuan profit after becoming British football’s record transfer when signing for Chelsea last summer.

The Ecuadorian had made just 45 league appearances for the Seagulls, having signed from Independiente del Valle for a fee of just £4.5m just two-and-a-half years earlier. After a successful loan spell with Beerschot, he broke into the Brighton team and cemented a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most prolific ball-winners.

Chelsea broke the bank to sign Caicedo for a fee which could reach £115m, an eye-watering profit for the South Coast side.

Kaoru Mitoma

Kaoru Mitoma could be the next name to earn Brighton a big fee in the summer, with the Japan international having excelled in the Premier League.

A relatively late bloomer, a 24-year-old Mitoma signed for Brighton from Kawasaki Frontale for £2.7m in 2021. After a season on loan at Tony Bloom-owned Union Saint-Gilloise, he made his mark last season as Brighton secured a top-six finish and European football for the first time.

Mitoma’s seven goals in the Premier League set a new record for a Japanese player in a single campaign. The winger, whose adventurous dribbling has delighted Brighton fans, is on the radar of several top European clubs ahead of the summer window.

 Read – Manchester United hold ‘positive talks’ over Dan Ashworth appointment

See more – Paul Lambert: Exclusive interview with the Celtic and Dortmund icon

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