Inside the working of transfer strategy with Liverpool director of research
Ian Graham, the man who leads Liverpool director of research, is the man behind the Red’s transfer strategy. The Welshman works closely with Michael Edwards, the club’s sporting director.
International breaks we meet again. For some, it’s a disguise and for others, it’s a blessing in disguise. Many club officials and workers either catch a break or some player train and kick out some extra sessions. But for the sporting director, there’s no such thing as breaks.
While the Liverpool staff spend some time off work and the players are busy with their nations, it’s a great opportunity for club officials to work on their transfer strategies.
The Red’s transfer guru settling himself in the 2021 StatsBombshell conference. When it comes to analyzing football’s boundless reams of data, this business has quickly identified itself as the industry leader. As a result of their expansion, Liverpool is now one of their most well-known clientele.
The club struck a multi-year partnership with StatsBomb in March. The current conference saw a number of professionals in the sector exhibiting their knowledge to their fellow football business compatriots.
Key members involved in transfer strategy of Liverpool
Edwards and Liverpool’s research department sit with David Woodfine, director of loan management. Along with them sits Tim Waskett, a statistical researcher who works in the club’s statistic department. Julian Ward, Edward’s assistant sits with the highly regarded director of research, Ian Graham.
Liverpool’s ability to stay at the top of the game despite their wealthier, spendthrift opponents in the transfer market is due to their obsessive dedication to data research.
Graham is the leader of a six-man team that includes Dafydd Steele, Will Spearman, Mark Stevenson, and Mark Howlett. The team also includes half-dozen science-based academics, who are subordinate to Edwards.
The unit has grown into Liverpool’s trump card in terms of recruitment throughout Klopp’s tenure as manager.
“Recruitment is the only place where the action is at in terms of performance,” said Graham.
20 years ago, Manchester United was among the clubs that brought the physical data for their success. This made other clubs investing in this data.
“Analytics was ridiculed for Liverpool in 2012. In 2021 it’s the must-have tool for any forward-thinking football club.”
For a team like Liverpool, where transfer budgets don’t necessarily have as many zeros as some of the clubs they compete against for championships, data analysis is critical.
Unlike clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United, Liverpool does not always have the luxury to withstand the impact of a failed transfer.
“Moneyball is about maximizing an improvement in performance at a minimum cost. And that’s not to say that we’re cheap.
Meanwhile, Graham pointed out that Football clubs are a portal for players to earn unlimited money. An increase in wages means an increase in performance, as suggested by many economists is actually preposterous.
“You can’t just double the wages of your squad and watch them win the league!
Working of the system
Graham suggested that analytics shows the quality of players more than a scout thinks.
The most important part is that the player should fit into the system and should be able to comprehend the style of playing.
With the help of analytic, the club analyzes the worst games and performances.
These statistics initially indicate a wide range of options, factors such as age, minutes played, and transfer values quickly narrow the field.
The club works on what’s undervalued and tries to make cheaper yet quality signings.
This concludes that a lot of analytics and scientific data research goes just to find the ideal player for the team. Indeed it’s not at all easy as we think it is. But fortunately, Liverpool’s team of technical directors makes it easy for the clubs and are truly the real transfer gurus.