Are West Ham using a data-based process for buying players?

Image for Are West Ham using a data-based process for buying players?

Over the past few years, West Ham have started to grow as a club as they set their sights on Europe and improved the quality of their squad online. They won the Europa League back in 2023, in only the second year of the tournament’s existence. Over their 128 years, they have become synonymous with top-flight football, with very committed and close support. Some former players have also gone down in history books, including 1966 World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, and Martin Peters.

Although it’s not the history that we’re looking at today, it’s instead what is going to be in the present and what strategy the club is currently implementing for buying players. Clubs can also take into account the feedback of fans if, as the reviews attest, a player is not giving it his all. This can put them in the spotlight.

How is data used to help make decisions?

So when we mention the concept of a data-based process being used to buy players, we are referring to the ways that clubs will utilise and analyse data across a range of different targets and criteria in order to help them evaluate whether to buy a player for the club or not. This process is engrained in a lot of the top clubs now, which have the resources and money to be able to analyse such large datasets at a fast rate.

The reason data has been relied on is the same reason that it is used to inform and influence decisions in businesses in other industries. Data can help when analysed in the correct manner to minimise risk and give you more insight into the future.

A range of boxes need to be checked.

Of course, data isn’t the sole factor behind whether a club should purchase a player. There are also plenty of other reasons that clubs such as West Ham take into consideration when purchasing a player. Some of these can include player influence, fan influence, and even scouting reports from as far away as abroad. The reason that decisions are so important when it comes to football is the average price of transfers now. West Ham alone have a staggering transfer record, including the purchase of Lucas Pacqueta two years ago in 2022 for a club record of £51 million. And so if you make the wrong decision, it can be an expensive mistake.

The club’s current dilemma

For example, one dilemma that West Ham are currently finding themselves in is that they have a squad that could be termed bloated. Some of the fringe players who want to enter the first team are looking elsewhere, such as Kalvin Phillips, and the older members of the squad are not of high enough quality to challenge for first team positions. Recent transfers as well have also been criticised as the quality of players they’re bringing in aren’t solidifying themselves as first-team players and instead are just bloating the numbers of the squad. Hence, if West Ham start to introduce a data-based process, they can have a look at what they need as a squad and use data to help them decide against the style that they play, a certain age range, or a certain price range, just to name a few.

Are West Ham using it?

As of this moment in time, there is no solid proof that this type of process is being used at West Ham, but as the club looks to capitalise on their recent success and alleviate some of the excess players they don’t need, it’s going to need to be considered.

If the club looks at other teams, such as Liverpool, they can see how the process is being utilised in the correct way. For example, Liverpool as a club have a very distinctive playing style, which is high-pressure and counterattacks, and so they can use data to help find players who like playing this style of football and in positions that they are looking to fill.

In Summary

If West Ham want to start growing as a club, they need to start making their decisions smarter, and they can do this by utilising the data and resources that are at their disposal. One of which is data. Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see if a data-driven process is embedded within the club’s transfer strategy.

Likewise, in the realm of data and technology, AI is currently playing a huge role in data analysis and so it will be interesting to see how the benefits of advancements in artificial intelligence will be able to help clubs such as West Ham make more effective and smarter transfer decisions, which will ultimately lead the club to a higher quality of team and more success.

Image Source:

Share this article