West Ham will be appointing a new Director of Football over the next few weeks, casting doubts over the future of Rob Newman. Alhough the club has already made approaches for different names, one in particular has been mentioned repeatedly.
Monaco’s Paul Mitchell has become the regular front runner. Mitchell is known to have a close friendship with Mark Noble, and the latter has made monthly trips to Monaco. This has further intensified rumours that Mitchell is set to move to the London stadium.
The 41-year-old has developed a proven record of good spending and identifying new talent. He has worked in three different European countries with young head coaches. Given that his expertise in recruitment has resulted in positive changes for the clubs so it is no surprise that he has been linked with moves to various Champions League giants.
Mitchell has grown accustomed to working for teams with strong foundations in their academies. His work with the MK Dons kick-started this interest, as he saw the club as being a forefront in domestic youth development. He may be able to use West Ham’s trait as “The Academy of Football” as a basis to improve the youth teams within the club, emphasising the need to use more younger players in a professional game.
Another advantage Mitchell can bring to West Ham is his scouting network He uses scouts across Europe to identify players who are younger, but with a good resale value at a later date. The sale of Mane is a good example example, as the forward left the Saints for three times the price he was bought for.
Mitchell’s relationship with Noble will also be important for the club. Noble, who is now Sporting Director of West Ham, can reinforce the club’s infrastructure and traditions to Mitchell. This will give him a clear idea of how the clubs needs to operate and what style of football the fans will warm to.
With potentially huge money to spend when Declan Rice is sold, the Hammers should see an exciting re-build this summer should Mitchell take over.