Clubs today with the help of data and an extensive scouting network have started buying players smartly. Most of the team’s integral part of success is proper team building. So let us have a look at how to build a perfect squad.
- Figure out the philosophy and style of play
Figuring out the philosophy and style of play are the first steps to build a good squad. These include finding out how you want to play- this may include the type of manager you want to appoint. This is the core of the any club.
For example- Manchester City always wanted to play the system which F.C.Barcelona played under Pep Guardiola. So they started building a squad and academy like F.C Barcelona. This meant that City had to bring personnel from Barca. So they appointed Ferran Soriano who is the CEo of the City football group, Txiki Begiristain who previously worked at Barca as director of football is now at city doing the same job. Then after 5 years of setting up all these, they appointed Pep and today after 3 years they are the best club in the World.
2. Sell your deadwood and asses the academy
After figuring out the philosophy and bring in a good manager, the club may have to sell a few players who don’t fit in the system to fund for the transfers. Whenever a new squad is built there is always one or two players the managers don’t want. This also applies to some of the academy players also. Inorder to form a good squad, the club must plan to give academy players some minutes of first team actions.
Like when Mauricio Pochettino arrived at Tottenham Hotspur he sold a lot of players in his first season like Soldado and gave a lot of academy players like Harry Kane minutes.This helped Kane develop and now he is one of the best strikers in the World.
3. Identify the position in which club want to improve
A lot of clubs like Manchester United don’t know what kind of the player the want. This creates a chaos after the player is bought as the club’s Hierarchy bought him. This has affected a lot of player’s carrear and club’s transfers policy as the both of their’s reputation has got worse.
This includes the transfer of Fred from Shaktar Doneastks to United. What united expected was a ball playing central midfeilder who could adapt to the pace of the premier league, but Fred was a more defensively minded player who most frequently played as piviot under Pablo Fonseca. United spent a handsome amount on him but just after one year he is considerd a flop.
In this step, the club may decide in which position the player or players they will buy. Today playing in a certain position does not mean that everyone will play the same role. Like Mirlem Pijanic and Declan Rice both play as defensive mid’s of their team. Pijanic is more of a regista who plays a bigger role in possession than Declan Rice but Declan Rice is more defensively sound. This is why a club needs to find out what kind of player they want.
4. Use data analytics to narrow down the list of players
After knowing what kind of player you want now list the specifications like physic. Take help of Analytic companies like Statsbomb and opta or you can consult some independent data scientists to make models of the players you have narrowed down the list too- this will give you an idea of how the players will perform in your system.
5. Scout all these players along with that do the background check
Seeing all these players will give you the direction to the best-suited player. After that do the due diligence as some players might be very good but may cause problems out of the field which will make the dressing room toxic. For example, Mauro Icardi Has scored a goal every other game in his Inter career but due to his agent, the club is looking to sell him for as low as 60 million.
6. After Signing a few good first-team players sign a few gambles
Gambles are an integral part of any squad. They would not cost a lot if they fail but if somehow they are successful they increase any club’s revenue by a lot. This includes Liverpool a lot! Liverpool has made some crazy bargains- like the one of Phil Coutinho where they brought him from Inter for just 8.5 million pounds and after 6 years they sold him for a monstrous 120 million. This also includes the purchase of very young players like PSG getting Xavi Simons for free.
Selling players is just as important as buying them. Selling players after them overperforming is good as they might not perform at the same rate. This is seen a lot, especially in Itlay. Andrea Belloti overperformed a lot in 2016/17 season a lot of big clubs like Manchester United were in for him for 100 million euros Torino his parent club did not listen to any offers. Today after him having a few average seasons no one wants to buy him. With that 100 million Torino could have done a lot but their lack of Data Analytics in the club has cost it.
Taking Liverpool’s examples again Phil Coutinho was sold for 120 million euros and from that money, they spent improving their defence. They bought Allison and Van Dijk with help of that money which thus helped them finish second last year.