Man Utd scout who spotted amazing talents ‘removed after frank meeting with Ed Woodward’

United fan Derek Langley, 68, who spent 16 years as head of youth recruitment at the club, has claimed he recommended the young stars to Old Trafford chiefs.

The Dutch pair are now two of the hottest prospects in the game and Langley has admitted he hoped his recommendations were taken more seriously.

Speaking about his targets to the Manchester Evening News, Langley said: "Players that they turned down? Matthijs de Ligt. We had God knows how many reports on Matthijs de Ligt.

"Frenkie de Jong and all these players now are sort of around Europe.

"Dayot Upamecano, who is now at Red Bull Leipzig, was another.

"This was one of the reasons why I had a meeting with Ed Woodward and I told him that I wasn't convinced with the competency of certain people at the club.

"I told Ed Woodward quite straight: "If you think I'm going to sit here and just tell you what you want to hear, I'm not that man because I'm going to tell you exactly how I see it.""

Langley also believed that this conversation eventually led to his dismissal seven months down the line.

He said: "I think it was possibly part of my downfall as to why seven months down the line I was removed because I wouldn't tow the line in relation to telling them exactly what I thought.

"It's one of them things in football – you come to accept it. Manchester United thanked me for the time I spent there and the players I'd taken in, but ultimately we could have been so much better if people had listened."

In his time at Old Trafford, Langley scouted the likes of current stars Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.

He was also responsible in signing the likes of Gerard Pique and Danny Welbeck –  who moved on to top-class clubs.

Since Langley left, United's scouting operation has trebled in size -and Jose Mourinho has reportedly grown concerned with the restructure, with more than 58 scouts now deployed all over the globe.

But he believes his legacy will live on with the club's hottest prospect Tahith Chong now coming through the ranks.

He said: "He had already been tipped by our scouts in Holland and basically I followed him at that tournament and then I followed him all over Europe.

"Tahith's parents would be the first to tell you that his form dipped slightly due to growth issues so at that time I just held fire. I carried on watching him and realised his form was coming back.

"He was on the verge of signing for Chelsea and I managed to convince his parents and the boy his future lied at United."


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