In the final part of this series, Leeds United director of football Victor Orta discusses the technology he and team use to optimize their scouting and recruitment processes.
One of the things that most changed how such decisions are taken is technology. Over the last decade, scouting and recruitment were taken to the next level thanks to tech. And yet, many steps of Leeds United recruitment team’s workflow could still be considered as ‘traditional’. “In the end, 70% of my work is ‘old style’ – reports, live scouting and human judgement – while the other 30% is technology, stats and algorithms. As I always say, football is not a sport of repetition like basketball or baseball, where you can quantify good qualities. In football, stats help but I still keep the old-school reports as the base of my decisions.”
And to make better decisions knowledge is essential, especially for a club that wants to re-establish itself as one of the mainstays in the most competitive league in the world. “In the past, information was the key”, Victor Orta told us. “But now, thanks to tools like Wyscout, information is everywhere, at hand, even for smaller clubs. Nowadays, the key is to be quick in creating knowledge with the information that you receive. That’s how to be a successful scouting department.”
That’s not an easy task, especially because today a club receives lots of information from hundreds of leagues around the world, including youth competitions. And that’s when technology and data can be of help. “Not being a big club, we cannot have a scout in every country and we have to prioritize some leagues rather than others. I’m never going to assign a player to one of my scouts just because he has good stats. I need to evaluate him because stats are not enough to judge if he can be a good fit for us.”
“But Wyscout changed football, it made the difference in terms of recruitment. I think I’ve been the second person in the world to have Wyscout after Fabio Paratici and I worked and grew with it. It’s so much easier for me to have everything I need in one place.”