Edwin Van der Sar emerges as fan-favourite choice to replace Ed Woodward

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Edwin van der Sar in contention to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United?

According to Richard Fey of the Manchester Evening News, Edwin van der Sar would be a fan favourite to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United.

The 49-year-old investment banker is set to resign from the post of executive vice-chairman after nine years at the helm. He took over from the sensational David Gill in 2012 and has since divided opinion with his ability to bring continued success to the club.

With plans for the European Super League falling apart, Woodward bit the bullet and has since resigned. He will see out the year before moving on to new ventures.

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An accomplished player from his time at United, Van der Sar already has excperience of serving in the boardroom with Ajax Amsterdam.

He has bene the Dutch giants CEO for the last five years and also played a role in United signing Donny van de Beek last summer. Ajax is one of the finest clubs when it comes to recruiting and developing talent and Van der Sar’s experience would ve a welcome addition at United.

While it remains to be seen if there is substance in the story, the Dutchman is someone the fans respect. Appointing him would go a long way in restoring trust in a position that has often come under criticism in recent years.

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Promoting from within?

Going by history however, United might well choose to promote someone from within their ranks than look externally. The last three people to hold the role, The last three men to occupy the role, Peter Kenyon, David Gill and Woodward were all promoted from within.

If we are to follow a similar trend, current director Richard Arnold would be in line to take over from Woodward. He was a key ally of the latter during his time at the helm.

United’s current chief financial officer Cliff Baty is another front runner for the role. He shares a close relationship with the Glazers and has been at the club since 2016.

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Van der Sar was a fan favourite as a player. The imposing goalkeeper made 265 appearances, keeping 135 clean sheets in just six years at the club. He won four Premier League titles, a Club World Cup, a League Cup and a Champions League title with the Red Devils.

While promoting from within has been the trend, it may be time to break that chain. Bringing in someone from outside will help foster new ideas and approaches in what is a key position behind the scenes.