New connections help EFL club get fast return on investment
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New connections help EFL club get fast return on investment
by Jack Hyom

Watch Crewe Alexandra’s Josh Kennard explain how TransferRoom widened their pool of loan clubs to move Connor O’Riordan to Raith Rovers, which hugely increased the defender's market value and made him first-team ready.

In our first window [on TransferRoom] we instantly managed to expand our horizons and get better fits for our loan players by looking a bit further afield, which we wouldn't have been able to do without TransferRoom.
Josh Kennard
Head of Recruitment, Crewe Alexandra FC

Return on investment with perfect loan move

 

The loan for a young player on the fringe of a club’s first team can be a career-defining move, so opening up as many different potential destinations as possible is crucial in finding the right one.

 

Crewe Alexandra, with one of the smallest budgets in the English Football League, have historically been limited to a pool of local clubs for loans, most of which are non-league and playing a more direct style that doesn’t suit their philosophy.

 

But they then joined TransferRoom, gaining direct access to decision makers and reliable transfer market information at more than 700 clubs worldwide.

 

Crewe wasted no time, loaning Connor O’Riordan, a teenage centre-back pushing for a place in their senior side, to Raith Rovers in the Scottish Championship through the platform.

 

“In our first window [on TransferRoom] we instantly managed to expand our horizons and get better fits for our loan players by looking a bit further afield, which we wouldn't have been able to do without TransferRoom,” says Josh Kennard, Crewe’s Head of Recruitment, in the video below.

 

 

Kennard attended a TransferRoom Virtual Deal Day with the aim to find a loan club for O’Riordan, meaning he held a series of fast-paced one-to-one meetings with executives at a range of clubs, including Raith manager Ian Murray.

 

“We wanted to meet some Scottish Championship clubs for a potential loan, and one of them we did meet was Raith,” Kennard says. “We wanted to understand what they were looking for in a centre-back.

 

“We swapped contact details, we thought he would be a good fit. Our Analyst put together some footage of Connor for them to look at. We sent that across to Ian. He looked at it and he was happy with it pretty much straight away.

 

“At that point we had another loan offer on the table for Connor, but we thought this would be a better level for him and better for his development.

 

“Obviously we can't loan to within our own league, and the National League presents different challenges to the Scottish Championship. It's a bit more ‘ball on the floor’ in the Scottish Championship. He would also deal with the physicality of men's football.”

 

It turned out to be an inspired loan move for O’Riordan, who was a regular starter for Raith and impressed so much that he went straight into Crewe’s starting line-up after returning from the temporary spell for the second half of the season.

 

The loan also had a tangible financial impact. His Expected Transfer Value, TransferRoom’s data-led measure of a player’s market worth, increased from £122k to £351k from the start of season to when he secured a first-team starting place at Crewe, an increase of 189%.

 

That rise highlights not only the return on investment gained from a well-judged loan move financially, but also for his development as a future first-team star.

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