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Liverpool's formula for unearthing several difference-makers

By Charles Cornwall

Liverpool's formula for unearthing several difference-makers

Darwin Nunez shares the reality of the Diogo Jota scouting that demonstrates the genius of Liverpool's signing.

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Liverpool are renowned for their strike rate in the transfer market. Not many clubs in Europe's top five leagues make fewer mistakes than the Reds. The team has shown a willingness to look beyond technical inefficiencies in the transfer market and that has helped unearth a number of players who make a difference.

Even players who have not made an impact on Merseyside have been sold at a profit. Liverpool seem to know a thing or two about scouting. One of the club's strengths over the years has been its ability to focus on what matters when assessing a player.

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The technical elements of a player's game are perhaps the most scrutinised, with those who glide effortlessly around the pitch commonly regarded as good players, regardless of their impact on their team's goal difference.

Diogo Jota

Liverpool's director of research Ian Graham spoke about Robertson's signing when he appeared on Freakonomics Radio in 2019. "My role is the data analytics side of football, which is a newer side, and the kind of players I really like are players who shine in data, but don't naturally shine to the typical football fan or the typical scout," Graham said.

"Awkward players, inelegant players, or players that have been overlooked, for various reasons. One of my favourite players is Robertson, our left-back, one of the best left-backs in Europe and now a European champion."

Diogo Jota, for example, fits the mould of an awkward player, who tends to lose the ball a lot or almost fall over his own feet when he receives it. Regardless of these subtle details, the Portuguese striker makes a difference, scores decisive goals and cements his reputation as a true poacher.


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