On the platform you very quickly see what is available for your needs and this was a case where we knew the director well and yet he used the platform to get in touch with us. It was a great example of the TransferRoom platform making it easier even for clubs in the same country who know each other to get a deal done that actually helped both clubs and the player as well.
Connecting decision-makers at speed
Waasland-Beveren were one of the most active clubs on TransferRoom in the 2022 Winter transfer window, bringing in one player and selling two others, as they shaped their squad for a promotion push to Belgium’s top-flight.
With new Sporting Director Jordi Condom only joining the club in early January, there was little time to lose.
Feyenoord winger Aliou Balde, a player well-known to Condom and Ivan Bravo, who heads up football operations for Bolt Holdings, the Beveren ownership group that also includes Estoril in Portugal and AD Alcorcon in Spain, was being closely monitored but the club needed to make room for the Senegalese youth international.
Step forward Alessandro Albanese (main picture), who Beveren made available for sale on TransferRoom.
48 hours later a move to Belgian top-flight club KV Oostende was completed.
Antoine Gobin, CEO of Beveren, told TransferRoom: “The Executive President of KV Oostende, Gauthier (Ganaye) calls me up one night and says 'hey, I see on TransferRoom that Albanese is available'. We had a conversation. We had maybe 30 phone calls that evening and the deal was done within two days. In fact we had pretty much agreed to everything that first evening because he saw that he was available and he reached out to me directly.”
A domestic transfer deal done between two clubs whose executives are already well-connected, but were unaware of the player’s availability.
It’s a scenario that has been seen on the platform numerous times before in both Norway and Denmark, where league-wide deals are in place with TransferRoom.
For the decision-makers at Beveren and Oostende, that real-time access to market intelligence proved crucial.
“I know Gauthier well, but it's not as if we share what our goals are for players in and out at the beginning of every window,” Gobin continued. “But on the platform you very quickly see what is available for your needs and this was a case where we knew the director well and yet he used the platform to get in touch with us.
“It was a great example of the TransferRoom platform making it easier even for clubs from the same country who know each other to get a deal done that actually helped both clubs and the player as well.
“He called me, made an offer, I made a counter offer, and we agreed. It was very direct, very easy. It was a player that needed playing time, and indeed he's already got minutes for them. It's a win-win for everyone. It was at the beginning of the window and it made sense to move fast as we knew we would be bringing players in that position.”
Beveren's wingers merry-go-round
Another winger who exited the club was Matthias Verreth, who moved to FC Eindhoven after the Dutch second division club declared interest in him on TransferRoom.
Waasland-Beveren made a loan move for Aliou Balde on TransferRoom as they push for promotion (image credit: Waasland-Beveren)
With both Albanese and Verreth sold, Beveren were able to make a loan move for the 19-year-old Balde.
Condom explained: “When I started here on January 2, Ivan said to me 'Jordi, look at this player [Balde] on TransferRoom'. I had only just joined the club, so I got my TransferRoom password, and we immediately got down to work to check the player.
“I have a lot of contacts. I know the Sporting Directors of lots of clubs in the Netherlands, the likes of Feyenoord and PSV, but you still need that direct information because I did not know if he was available or not.
“I already knew about the player, we had the data on him and then on TransferRoom I now see he is available. Great. We could get the deal done quickly and directly with Feyenoord.”
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