West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has revealed to the Express & Star that statistics and fitness data help him and his staff to identify their transfer targets.
The former Barnsley boss took on the top job at the Hawthorns over the summer and quickly identified which areas of the squad he wanted to improve before bringing in some new faces.
Midfielder Alex Mowatt followed Ismael from the Tykes following the expiry of his contract at Oakwell, whilst the likes of Adam Reach, Matt Clarke, Jordan Hugill, Jayson Molumby, and Kean Bryan all arrived from Sheffield Wednesday, Brighton and Hove Albion, Norwich City and Sheffield United respectively.
Now Ismael has moved to provide some insight into how he goes about identifying targets, as he stated the following about the process recently:
“The principle is intensity – the players in each position must hit certain numbers.
“I have gathered over the last three years all the information and numbers from the all teams I played with in our formation. And I can say exactly which number they need to reach.
“The first choice before I pick a player is to see whether he can reach those numbers.
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“If he can, we go to the next step, the quality of the player and the mentality of the player.
“Then at the end of the day we make a decision over the player.
“If a player isn’t reaching the numbers, it’s a question of can he? If not, you move onto the next one.”
The Baggies have started the campaign well so far under the Frenchman and will be looking to continue their fine start to the season once they return from the international break.
Albion’s first game back comes against Birmingham City on Friday 15th October at the Hawthorns.
It is fair to say that Ismael has got most of his transfers spot on for the club since he took on the job and the fans have been seeing the results on the pitch.
Mowatt in particular looks like he has been playing for the Baggies for years and has settled in seamlessly.
It will certainly be interesting to see if Albion will look to bring in more new faces in the January window.
There is a feeling that they could look to bring in one or two new players, as sometimes these midseason additions can make all the difference in the second half of the campaign.