SN Blog 116 – January Transfer Window

To quote the former head of recruitment at Tottenham Steve Hitchen when speaking to Amazon in that All or nothing documentary …. “I hate the January transfer window…”  He said that shortly before signing Steven Bergwijn; who was a decent enough player and a good lad it seemed.  However yeah there is something about this window which makes people a little crazy.

I think when you get to January in a season you typically have an idea of where you are, what you could achieve and as such that sends fans into a sort of hyper drive of “WE MUST DO BUSINESS AND ADD…” and of course football is so subjective, most fans will believe different players are the answer and different players should leave to make room.

So I am writing this blog post today to not really dive into the madness but explain a little bit (from my understanding) what is different at Spurs now in terms of recruitment and how we look at players and why, hopefully, our signings will continue to do well compared to signings of the past.

So the first thing to know is this man is gone.  Officially no longer works for the club.  Everyone understand he 100% got the boot over being banned for doing naughty things while in charge of recruitment at Juventus.  Hes gone… I mean… he is allowed to work as a consultant… so the club did use him when recruiting a certain goal keeper in the summer but aside from that gone, not… well… I mean… he is currently working hard on a deal to bring a defender to Spurs from Genoa in Italy – Radu Drăgușin – a player he signed for Juventus by the way…

Paratici is one of those guys like Frank Arnesen (traitor) all those years ago who has an incredible amount of contacts in football across Europe and in Italy in particular.  Makes sense to use him if we can to close these deals.

However at the club in the summer a new system was brought about which is not NEW to football, just new to us.  Its a recruitment method which is data driven and mirrors what clubs like Brentford and Brighton have been doing for the last five years.

The best example I can give you about the difference to now and before is this.  If Tottenham were looking at a play-maker and saw player A has 10 assists and player B had five they would go for player A in the past, make sense, he created more goals.  However here is the data deep dive!

Player A got 10 assists playing behind a prolific striker, one of the best in Europe.  He made 12 key passes and 10 were converted giving him 10 assists.  However player B is playing behind strikers who are not quite as good (we can all name some) and he actually made 30 key passes but they only converted five.  Who is the better play-maker?

This method was using for signing Vicario, Maddison, de Ven, Solomon, Phillips, Johnson etc in the summer.  This is the method we are employing for all players now.

So for each position we identify as needing someone we put together a list based on the data, then these players are watched by scouts and background work is done on their personality etc – Ange then looks over this and if able speaks with the player to get a feel for them wanting to join / what their ambitions are etc.  There is an example in the summer where Ange spoke to a player and felt they just wanted Premier League, not Tottenham and would not be committed so we passed and went for the next player on the list.

So in January you can be assured that ANY player, regardless if known to you or not would have been looked at from a data analysis and Ange approved.

So that brings us to Timo Werner on loan, a deal the club are looking to wrap up soon.  We all remember at Chelsea being awful, he missed so many chances he was a joke in the Premier League every week and so why on Earth would we sign him.

Well perception and reality are not always the same.  During his time at Chelsea he was involved in a goal, either scoring or assisting on average every other game… so a goal in two games – which is the same as Sonny averages in the Premier League fyi.

MANY players over the years join a club and just do not fit, then join another and look great.  The players numbers in England were good and if Ange can motivate him, which he appears to be very good at we have a player with a point to prove… he is fast, presses well and is perfect cover.

So, lets see who comes in and how they do and then we will know if this new recruitment system is continuing to work or not… but lets back them as so far its been so good.


-Admin SJ


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