Darren Fletcher has been added to the Manchester United coaching staff to offset Mark Dempsey’s switch to the academy.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought former development coach Dempsey back to United in 2018, having worked with him at Molde and Cardiff.
Dempsey, who left United’s pre-season tour of Australasia and Asia in 2019 after falling ill in Perth, recently transitioned to the academy and the MEN revealed in April Fletcher had returned to United in a coaching capacity.
Solskjaer identified Fletcher as the ideal replacement for Dempsey due to his experiences at West Brom and Stoke, as well as United.
“He’s got the Man United DNA and there was a spot open because Mark Dempsey has moved to the academy,” Solskjaer explained. “We felt he was so valuable there, he’s been brilliant in the academy in helping out.
“When this opening came, Darren has been away from the club for a few years, then he’s come back doing coaching with the Under-16s and with his experience of being here through both successful and difficult times, we felt it was right for Darren to come in and give us that input.
“It’s also important we bring ex-players that have been somewhere else. I’ve been somewhere else after working with Mike Phelan, Sir Alex and Carlos [Queiroz], we know one way of the coaching.
“But they’ve been at different clubs and have different ideas and Fletch put his ideas in and will improve us in the backroom staff.”
United considered appointing Fletcher to a new role as part of their ‘cultural reset’ in 2019 but shelved plans after they did not appoint a director of football.
Fletcher, 36, made his United debut against Basel in 2003 and left for West Brom in 2015, having won four Premier League titles, the FA Cup, three League Cups, the Champions League and Club World Cup.