Manchester United shown Jason Wilcox's FFP masterplan which justifies Sir Jim Ratcliffe decision

Manchester United technical director Jason Wilcox
Manchester United technical director Jason Wilcox -Credit:Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Manchester United's co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already shown that he is unwilling to leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of his goals.

Within weeks of entering United, Ratcliffe made big changes to the boardroom. Omar Berrada and the incoming Dan Ashworth have stolen the headlines but one man has somewhat slipped under the radar.

Jason Wilcox arrived from Southampton in April as the club's new technical director, returning to the city where he had so much success. Working within the Manchester City Academy, the 52-year-old oversaw the production of the Elite Development Squad (EDS) which has been the gift that keeps on giving for Pep Guardiola.

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Wilcox picked up midfielder Tommy Doyle as a youngster and this week he was sold for £4.5m after impressing on loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers. That money is pure profit for the Blues and he is by no means the first talent to make the club money despite not making an impact on the senior squad.

Romeo Lavia, Carlos Borges, Shea Charles and James Trafford were all sold for a profit and proved how United could improve its Financial Fair Play (FFP) position moving forward. Previously, Wilcox has stressed that very few players who sign for academies will be good enough to make it at a top-four club.

In an interview with the National News in 2020, he explained why this isn't the be-all and end-all. "When we are producing players who have high levels of technical excellence, who are great people, who have high levels of intelligence and physicality, only the players with the highest levels of all will be ready for Manchester City's first team, which is able to compete against the best players in the world," Wilcox said.

"There are very few players who will be at that level. When you look at the top four clubs in Europe or the Premier League it is an extremely big ask and it is a big challenge.

"If we just sat here and say, are we going to produce 11 players for Manchester City’s first team? The likelihood is very, very slim because the levels they have to get to are unbelievably high when the team are expected to win the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup every year.

"I don't see any teams being able to bring 11 players through in one era that happened in the past with Manchester United and Barcelona. They are the only two clubs it has happened. It is going to be highly unlikely."

But City have proven that they can create a conveyor belt of talented players who can be sold as assets, and that is Wilcox's masterplan. If United can monetise their academy, it will be pure profit to be reinvested and should rightly justify Ratcliffe's decision to bring the former City man on board.