Make three rules
Imagine, for a moment, that you wanted to make three rules in this transfer window to which your club must abide.
After some thought, you set out these simple guidelines for new signings:
- Must be 25 years old or younger, so we get his peak years
- Must have played 70%+ minutes last season, so we know he’s been fit and selected
- Must be bought from a team at least as good as ours, so we know at what standard he has played
You could visualise which players meet these rules in a Venn diagram; for example a selection of major signings made by Premier League teams this season:
As a club, you might decide that these rules are just a guideline, or that you only need to abide by one. Perhaps you have different rules altogether, depending on your club’s context. Maybe if one of the rules is not met, a player would have to score highly on the other two metrics in order to make the shortlist.
But perhaps what is more important is tracking what happens to players who meet or miss these rules. How many of our signings that met rules 1 and 2, but missed 3, for example, went on to become successes – however we might define it. Or what about the players who met all three?
Recruitment is not an exact science, but it needn’t be a crapshoot. Defining a recruitment philosophy and holding ourselves to account can help us outsmart the opposition in the transfer market.