LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 27, 2018: Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp consults first team coach Peter Krawietz (L) an first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders (C) during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s incredible data investment which identifies potential transfer targets

Liverpool’s eye for detail across every facet of the game has ensured their rise to the top has been anything but a fluke, and their utilisation of a French start-up is one of many examples.

The Reds have become champions of Europe, England and the world thanks to their relentless pursuit of success, with their performances on the pitch matched by their output off it.

The level of attention to detail across all areas of the football club has ensured Liverpool are no flash in the pan, rather one built to sustain their triumphs with eyes constantly on both the present and future.

And at a time when finances are constantly under review and a players’ physical demands are higher than ever, the work to identify suitable targets continues to grow in importance.

So much so that Liverpool invested in a French start-up called SkillCorner, who extrapolate tracking data from any football game across 23 leagues around the world to provide valuable insight into a player and potential transfer target.

The Reds spent a year helping to develop the performance tool which can track the position and movement of every player in any single moment of a game, where they were the first football club to sign up.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 9, 2019: Liverpool's (L-R) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, Dejan Lovren and Georginio Wijnaldum during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

From being able to analyse the physical output of a player to their ability to act under pressure, pick out the right option or break the lines – all valuable when assessing potential targets.

As per the Training Ground Guru, more than a million data points across one 90-minute game can be obtained through their tool, with Liverpool able to access raw tracking data for every game across 23 competitions – which could soon be 40.

The detailed data provides the ideal information to compare and contrast potential targets, in obscure leagues, and then set them up against Jurgen Klopp‘s requirement for players within his system.

While Liverpool are keeping their cards close to their chest as to all of what they are doing with the tracking data, SkillCorner co-founder Hugo Bordigoni provided a brief glimpse at what is available to them.

“If there was a pass at 3 minutes 42 in a particular match, then they can look at the tracking data at this exact frame and say: ‘There was this pressing on the player, on the receiver, these were the options he had,'” he explained.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 7, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita (L) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It is not really interesting to know that a player completed 90 passes during a match, but with our data you can assess every pass – whether there was a better option than the one the player took.”

Liverpool’s director of research, Ian Graham has been key in establishing the relationship, with him and his team having been instrumental in shaping the Reds’ current squad using various statistical models and formulas.

Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita were both recommended having stood out above the rest in the data, and that the Reds are investing more time and funds into tools that SkillCorner provide is a boost – especially when finding players of the right physical and tactical profile has never been as important.