We always try to find all the new technologies to inform us and TransferRoom is very important here. The added value is so big for players and clubs because you have the direct connection and see what clubs need immediately. It is very important to pitch our players effectively and do good work in advance for clubs.
Playing time. Styles of play. Benchmarking against current squad players.
When negotiating with clubs on behalf of their clients, agents are increasingly using data analytics to make the best and most informed decisions.
And the key question they keep returning to is: “Am I offering the right player to the right club at the right time?”
Netherlands-based Global Football Management signs up between six and 10 new players every year, and its major selling point to them is an analytical approach to career development.
“We base everything on data,” says Menno Beukema, co-owner of GFM, which works closely with SciSports, the international sports analytics company. “It is very important to find players that have a good connection with the playing style of the club, the DNA of the club and compare them with players playing in the position in the club who is searching.
“A lot of agents, because it [data platforms] costs money, don’t work like this. We always try to find all the new technologies to inform us and TransferRoom is very important here. The added value is so big for players and clubs because you have the direct connection and see what clubs need immediately. It is very important to pitch our players effectively and do good work in advance for clubs. Is the rating of our player similar to the player playing in his position in the squad already?”
GFM, which has close to 40 players in nine countries on its books, including Beukema’s son, AZ Alkmaar defender Sam (pictured), is one of an exclusive number of Trusted Agents on TransferRoom.
The data insights on the platform further strengthen the agency’s hand in negotiations.
Beukema explains: “TransferRoom is very important to attract players. When I show a player what GFM is, I always show the data and our social media activities. When I can also show them I can pitch them on TransferRoom then they see the added value very quickly. It is a very good sales and marketing tool to attract new players. For us it’s very important to have a partner like TR to show players what we are standing for and what we can do for them.”
GFM’s policy is to have at least three players on its books for any one position, to fit with the desired age profile of clubs.
Beukema continues: “We are always very interested in lefties. We have six players from Norway on our books, and five of them are left footed. They are very attractive in the market. When clubs need left-footed players, they are always difficult to find. The data tells us that.”
“We don’t want to have too much competition in our player portfolio. So, for example, at right wing we’ll have an older player, a player in the middle of his career and then a younger player. So we have each position covered with different ages. It depends then if a club wants an older player with experience or a younger player with potential value. We like to have options.
“There have also been cases where clubs come to us with a request for a player. We start looking for a matching player in our own portfolio or a portfolio from one of our strategic partners, and analyse these players based on the club’s criteria. This way, we can also help clubs find the right player.”