Manchester United appoint new 'injury prevention specialist'

Matt Radcliffe has confirmed to ESPN that he is leaving his post as senior physiotherapist at Southampton to take up a position in a revamped medical setup at Manchester United.

Radcliffe will start his role as injury prevention specialist with the Old Trafford club on Monday Oct. 13, where he will join the staff that has already been assembled at United's Carrington training base.

United go into this weekend's Premier League clash against Everton with eight players out injured -- a crisis that manager Louis van Gaal has called the worst in his career.

"I am really looking forward to working for such a great club," Radcliffe told ESPN. "I will be joining an outstanding medical team at United and hope to complement those who are already working at United.

"The aim is to add another skill to what is already there and also to take my skills to the next level by joining one of the biggest clubs in the world. United's Carrington training base will be a fantastic place to go to work and I can't wait to get started."

Radcliffe will move back to his family home not far from United's training base when he starts his new job, and he leaves behind a career at Southampton that has seen him establish himself as one of the outstanding physiotherapists in the Premier League.

"It was a tough decision to walk away from a club that has been so good to me over the last four years, but I know Southampton are heading in the right direction and I can't wait to see where they are in two years' time," he added.

"They are a club that is providing a blueprint for so many to follow, both in terms of working young kids and honing their skills and they way they treat their staff. Southampton is a football club going places and if they continue to play as they have done in the Premier League over the next couple of years, top players will want to join them.

"Ronald Koeman is a fantastic manager to have at the helm of the club and he is also a gentleman, so I look forward to following their progress even though my focus will be on Manchester United from now on."

The acquisition of Radcliffe follows the news that former first-team fitness coach Tony Strudwick will now be predominantly working with the club's younger players, while Van Gaal has withdrawn Strudwick and Rod Thornley from their part-time duties with the England national team.