In part two of this three part series, Wolves head of recruitment John Marshall talks us through his scouting workflow for building a squad based on the philosophy of his club.

When reporting on thousands of players every month, there have to be certain criteria to define which players are worthy to be followed up and which isn’t. That’s why Wolves’ manager and coaching team have defined specific metrics to allow the scouting department to capitalize on time, money and resources. “We have a very definite style of play – 3-4-3, occasionally 3-5-2 – which we’ve had for over two years”, says Marshall. “So, with regards to the KPIs for the positions and the players, we know that we have in the building and we try to replicate that or to improve with those players that we don’t have. From the recruitment side of things, we are looking to always be ahead of the game.”

In order to do that, video analysis is essential, as it allows Wolves to get access across the globe quickly, reporting on players really quickly. “We have a team of full-time video analysts”, says Marshall, “who work exclusively with Wyscout.

Their job is to watch games and report on players. We have an age limit in general, under 26. So within a game, the average number of players that we report on is probably six to seven. And it’s the base knowledge that we use originally so that we’re not wasting travel time, airfares, hotels. We can see a lot of good attributes or bad attributes in the players from the Wyscout footage.”

Data are also important – or, as Marshall would say, ‘invaluable’ – especially if you have a precise way to make knowledge out of them. To do that, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ scouting department uses a 100 per cent rating“So, a 100 percent player would be someone like Lionel Messi. And with the KPIs we have on the data, we match it with other players and see where they fall. Normally, they fall between 60 al 70 percent of his talent. So, anybody above that immediately fires up interest.

Part three of this series focuses on Marshall's take on how video has revolutionized football in recent years.

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