A sign(ing) of success
The success of new signings is often described in intangible or individualistic terms; that the new centre back “added leadership” in defence, or the new striker “scored 7 in 12”. There is often nothing wrong with these assessments per se, but too often there is no objective assessment of the player’s impact on the team’s performance.
One method to do this would be to look at a prediction model as it stands today. In the English Championship, for example, 21st Club’s model’s average prediction has Derby County winning around 84 points by the end of the season. This prediction is based on past performance and remaining fixtures, and therefore information on the squad before the current transfer window.
If Derby’s transfer activity this winter has what is described as ‘immediate success’, it is reasonable to expect that the club would exceed this 84-point expectation. The same would apply to clubs in this or any other league. Of course, exceeding this prediction could be down to any number of factors including luck, tactical changes, players returning from injury and so on, but the prediction serves as a benchmark; a starting point for discussion.
At your own club, it’s even more useful to clarify now how many points you expect your new signings will add, creating a second benchmark and point of accountability.
The transfer window is sometimes seen as a one stop shop for solution to a club’s problems; this objective approach to expectation benchmarking provides some clarity on how much of a solution the window truly provides.