In the first part of this three part series, Wolverhampton Wanderers head of recruitment John Marshall explains the responsibilities of his role and what his scouting department specifically looks for in a player. 

After digging into the goals and responsibilities of a Director of Football, we first asked Mr Marshall about his role in the club. What does exactly a Head of Recruitment do? “My role at Wolves”, explained Marshall, “is to oversee a team of 20 scouts and video scouts. We watch about 350 games per month, reporting on 2000 players through three different formats. We use a lot of Wyscout footage to boot up reports. We do a lot of live scouting. And we have a data analyst who crunches the numbers for us.”

Being one of the best (and most ambitious) clubs in the Premier League also means facing a lot of challenges, especially in scouting. The competition is fierce and not only limited to the first team. “We have to be ready at the drop of the hat to bring players in of the required standards”, says Marshall. “The main challenge is to be ahead of the opposition to present the manager and the coaching team with the best options for every position on the pitch. So when the manager asks us for the best player in a certain position, we can say ‘There we are. There’s the best three, there’s all the data, the reports, the live footage. That’s why we think he’s ideal for the team.’

Scouting the correct players for Wolves isn't just down to who has the most talent, it's also about finding the correct personalities and personal attributes. "We have to be quite clever with how we target players and make sure that they fit into the playing style," said Marshall. "Do they they fit the physical profile and the technical profile? We do a lot of work on how they are as a character because the dressing room spirit is very important to Wolves and we have to be ready for the coaches to present these players and back our judgment.

In part two of this series, we take a look at the scouting workflows that Marshall and his team use to identify potential targets. Read it here.