Few would disagree that many of Everton’s additions over the past few years have been poor and badly thought out. Yannick Bolasie’s £25 million signing in 2016 was particularly terrible, but there have been plenty of other dubious acquisitions since then as well. It could be time for the board at Goodison Park to employ more modern methods in the scouting system in order to bring top talent to the club. The Moneyball strategy from baseball that focuses on data has been used by some football teams already, and it could represent the future of transfer dealings.
Football Needs to Embrace the Bargain
The idea of finding a bargain and getting as much value out of it as possible is a concept that needs to be adopted in football in this big-money era. This is something that occurs in every industry, especially competitive ones. For example, game producers often try to outdo one another to entice players in, with many mobile apps giving out a lot of free content to players before they have to pay. Online casinos provide healthy welcome bonuses for players that come in the form of deposit matches and free playing money. Players can find these deals posted to a Bonusfinder UK website, meaning they can carefully choose where they want to play.
Just like players in the gaming world, football executives should be on the hunt for bargains. Players know that there is a lot of potential value to be had by taking up free offers before they invest a lot of their own money. Football clubs also dream of finding these bargains. They come in the form of young players who can be bought on the cheap, moulded into stars, and then sold for a lot of money later on.
Since the investment of Farhad Moshiri, Everton have mainly tried to sign readymade players for large sums. This hasn’t worked out well on numerous occasions, and it may make sense for them to start hunting for bargains instead.
How Have Some Teams Used Data and Stats to Their Advantage?
The Moneyball model is one that comes from baseball in the USA, with the Oakland Athletics pioneering an innovative system of picking players in the early 21st century. Billy Beane and his staff decided to scrap traditional scouting methods and adopt a more analytical approach. They attempted to find players who were undervalued in the market in an effort to compete with their wealthier rivals.
In football, Brentford are one of the best examples of a team that have implemented this approach. The newly promoted team managed to leverage the cornucopia of statistical data available about every footballer that has ever played the game, and apply that knowledge to existing players. They projected how well these players may turn out over time and were generally successful in this approach. In the last few seasons Brentford have turned an incredible profit on players like Ollie Watkins, Neal Maupay, and Ezri Konsa.
Everton don’t necessarily need to copy the Brentford model of buying low and selling high. However, there could be a few gems out there that the Toffees are missing out on if they don’t adopt a more rigorous statistical analysis in the transfer market. Everton transfers of recent times have been underwhelming, and a fresh approach under Rafa Benitez could be the best way to turn things around.