Speaking to Manchester United official television channel, the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward gave an insight into the scouting process and how Manchester United signs new players.
Ed Woodward is a much loved character among the Manchester United fans, and for good reasons. He has snapped up Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria in the past few seasons and the quartet of Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Memphis Depay this season.
Woodward reveals how Manchester United scout player
When asked to explain the scouting process, Woodward said in an interview with MUTV:
“Ita s actually fairly straightforward. We have a global scouting network thata s all over many countries and key markets from a football perspective. The scouts are watching matches and we have a huge amount of data we purchase and a pyramid approach in terms of delivering that information to our chief scout and his team who are assessing it. So wea re always able to look at a position and have our view in terms of the list of targets that we think will suit Manchester United and help our team.
Van Gaal picks target
Woodward went onto explain the manager Louis van Gaal then identifies target from the scouted players:
“That list is then discussed with Louis [van Gaal] and his staff and therea s a process of further analysis done.
“Once Louis sets his targets a and I think ita s always important to have more than one target for each position, because you have to accept that sometimes you may not get your first choice for whatever reason, so leta s plan ahead and look at two and three a then all I do is go and negotiate the deals with the club and the player. Ita s straightforward, although it may not be easy in terms of negotiations.”
Woodward went onto reveal that once the transfer deadline has passed at the end of August, work will already start on assessing potential targets for 2016.
“Ita s really September,” Woodward said when asked when the whole process begins.
“Once the window closes, your scouts are then starting to look at the key areas where you think you may have a weakness and the whole process starts. The manager will have had four more months of working with the squad [by January] and have had much better visibility of who the ins and outs should be, but the work has to have started to get them.
“Yes, essentially there is [a physical list of names] because we track everything. That’s what the scouting team does. It’s relentless because you’re immediately focused on the next [signing]. To that extent, I am completely aligned with the fans. When we tell them wea ve signed a player, there is a moment of happiness but then ita s about whoa s next. .
“There is a lot of work involved in terms of negotiations and that is time-consuming, so I prefer to look back at it at the end of the window, see the players on the pitch and see how theya ve been blended into the squad.”