In part two of this series with Leeds United director of football Victor Orta, we learn more about how Orta's scouting and recruitment department operate in terms of evaluating players.
Regardless of the responsibilities he may have, as a Director of Football Victor Orta spends most of his time under the spotlights for transfer market reasons. Scouting and recruitment are a huge part of the job and probably the most interesting one, media-wise. So, what is Leeds United looking for when trying to recruit a player?
“It’s a good question because we’re actually creating a document called ‘DNA Leeds United’, trying to define which is our standard for recruiting a footballer.” While trying to do that, Orta identified four key pillars to be used when evaluating a player. “One is the technical level and if you want to minimize the risks you can use tools like Wyscout to monitor player for all the time you need. The second is the physical level and in this century there are tools to monitor that as well. Then, there are two situations with which is harder to minimize the risk. One is the ‘transition’: if a player is performing well in a certain league or context, will he be able to perform just as well in a different situation? Finally, the mental side. This is the riskiest because, in the end, footballers are persons and a lot of things can happen around them.”
One of the most common discussions in football is whether the manager should be involved in the transfer market or not, but Orta seems to have a clear idea about his work with Marcelo Bielsa. “It’s not only Bielsa, it’s every manager”, he says. “If you don’t involve your manager in recruitment, you’re making a huge mistake. All my most successful signings were made in complete synergy with the head coach. You need to share all the information with him and to make him part of all the decisions that are taken.”
Part three of the series will focus on the technology Orta and his team use to optimize their scouting and recruitment strategy. You can read it here.