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Head of Recruitment

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  • Totally agree, Wyn. The only thing I’d add is that Norwich expanded their stadium and made the step change needed to fill it - and keep filling it when they were relegated. We need to do likewise.
  • Stuart says what most of us on here believe, he just has the ability to go and make it happen.

    We are where we are because we stopped playing our way and lost our principles. we can never do that again.

    I still believe we have a real chance of automatic promotion this season but we need to be at our best in all aspects from day 1. Id really like us to be bringing in and promoting from within. So if the u23 are good enough promote them, but unless we believe they are, now, we need to bring in about 3 players. On a free, I really dont care if they are the right player.
  • Webber had a season of consolidation and was fortunate to not only bring in a lot of cash from players transferred but also keep the same manager.

    Greed and personal gain by our old directors, mostly local people, who continued to give the impression of being a Swans fan in name only was the club's downfall and there is always going to be a possibility it will happen again. Once people dine at the top table and get an idea of how corrupt the game is, very few turn down the chance to take their percentage.

    How on earth can we be at our best and aim for automatic promotion when we won't know the make-up of the playing squad by the time the transfer window closes and also a new manager to implement his tactics. Did Norwich actually achieve promotion that way? No, they were able to consolidate and work from there.

  • Yes every club is different, Norwich in their year of consolidation finished 18th I believe, and they didnt spend big but knew the style and types of players they wanted. No-one was suggesting they were promotion candidates never mind automatic promotion.

    Last year was our consolidation year and we finished 10th. Now we have changed our Manager but he fits with our style and yes I will say it he will be there for the whole  preseason. The issue is squad retention.

    So Im assuming most of the potential candidates from the u23s will be training with the squad, the Ayews wont, Borja will train but will be probably peripheral. So it is the ins and outs which will cause us disruption.

    If we have targets, then we need to bring them in soon, we cant wait until September for them to be ready to play.

    Ill keep my hopes for this year.
  • Ipswich stagnated at Championship level for 17 years before finally taking the plunge last season. 

    For the first 10 years or thereabouts they invested fairly generously in the squad, and were there or thereabouts for promotion a few times, including play off appearances, without ever quite making it back up. 

    Then - guess what - the owner gradually started to turn off the tap. Slow, gradual decline followed in the main (save for one season where Mick McCarthy somehow got them to a play off semi on a shoestring budget). 

    It's been proven that the longer you hang about at this level the more likely you are to head downwards rather than up.

    Which is why I maintain that this apparent experiment to turn us into a deluxe version of Crewe will only end in tears. You will, eventually be eaten alive by ambitious teams coming up from L1 and the Stokes and West Broms coming back down and spending the megabucks.

    NB I am not advocating spaffing silly money down the drain here, I am just talking about reasonable, sensible investment. Unfortunately our owners seem to be completely opposed to doing even that. We will pay in the end.
    So what does a club do when its owners have no intention of throwing money into a pot for player recruitment, or does not have the financial resources to do so apart from funding academy/youth schemes. Not only our current owners but the ones who will eventually replace them.
    Are you forgetting also how little cash in comparison to other clubs our old board of directors actually paid out for players prior to the PL, and who were indebted to Kevin Reeves for his astuteness in spotting players.
    Just imagine if Martin Morgan is involved in re-purchasing the club and the limited amount of cash at his disposal, while, can you only honestly compare ourselves to Stoke and WBA when you consider the wealthy guys funding either club.
    Colin, you are forgetting FFP, now Peter Coates at Stoke may try to fund them to promotion but if it doesn't work, he cannot keep funding them, however much he loves his home town club.
    They have 3 years in which to balance the books otherwise a points deduction will happen.
    He can give them soft loans to tide them over and he can be creative with the Bet365 stadium sponsorship but like Man City, it may come back and bite them.
  • Yes every club is different, Norwich in their year of consolidation finished 18th I believe, and they didnt spend big but knew the style and types of players they wanted. No-one was suggesting they were promotion candidates never mind automatic promotion.

    Last year was our consolidation year and we finished 10th. Now we have changed our Manager but he fits with our style and yes I will say it he will be there for the whole  preseason. The issue is squad retention.

    So Im assuming most of the potential candidates from the u23s will be training with the squad, the Ayews wont, Borja will train but will be probably peripheral. So it is the ins and outs which will cause us disruption.

    If we have targets, then we need to bring them in soon, we cant wait until September for them to be ready to play.

    Ill keep my hopes for this year.
    We are all hoping Cooper will carry on from where Potter left and we will wait and see. The length of time it takes to offload the high earners will totally determine the quality of player we sign.
  • Norwich, in their first season under Webber and Farke finished 14th - so by the start of the 2018/19 season those two had a full season under their belts - and several of the players they brought in from abroad in their first season also had a season's experience. We're probably ahead of where they were then in terms of blooding youngsters, but given the absence of a recruitment team and the issues around the ways the owners have made several poor decisions I think this season is too early realistically for a promotion push. Had Potter remained then a play-off place, at the very least, would have been on the cards. 

    We really need to play the long game here and get a settled structure in place. That means finding a dynamic young HoR in the mould of Stuart Webber who buys into the Swansea Way completely. It also means that the owners continue to learn lessons from their mistakes. To be fair to them bringing in Potter (albeit probably at Huw's instigation), and now Cooper, showed that they'd learned from their mistake with Bradley. Potter could easily have gone to Stoke last summer - in which case I'm sure they would be back in the Premier League by now. But we took a gamble on him because he fitted the philosophy that brought us success when we were progressing as a club. The owners also need to learn from the mistake of nearly selling James on the cheap, and show more patience - if only because the evidence of James' transfer demonstrates that they we as a club and therefore them as owners, will be better off in the long run by selling players at their peak value. 

    If we have a good HoR in place in the next couple of weeks and he/she can hit the ground running then I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing one or perhaps even two of our youngsters leave, but only on the condition that we get top dollar for them and we bring in 5 or 6 quality players into the squad before the end of the transfer window. That's a massive ask, but our best chance of doing a Norwich. In any event we need to have some faith in the likes of Birch and Cooper that we're getting things back on track, and we need to cut them some slack.
    Jackareme
  • Potter was expecting to be pushing for promotion play-offs at least, if he had stayed. 

    I was told this by someone who had spoken to him about it.
  • Id rather keep our youngsters and continue to develop them. I expect any players who come in will be young(ish).

    We need to bring in a LB, CB and winger/midfield just to stand still (perhaps from u23) but the golscorer needs to come from outside as backup for Oli.
  • Wyn said:
    Sorry to keep banging on about Norwich, but they really have set the template for other Championship clubs, especially clubs like ours that simply doesn't have the cash to splash on signings. Apart from bringing through the likes of Aarons, Lewis, Godfrey and Cantwell from their academy (all of whom played more than 50% of games in the Championship last season), they have done spectacularly well in terms of the players they've brought in - for very low fees. 

    Since this time last year Norwich brought in (figures from Transfermarkt): Leitner joined for 1.5 Million Euros from Augsburg, Pukki joined for free from Brondby, Buendia joined for 1.5 Million Euros from Getafe, Tim Krul joined from Brighton on a free transfer, Ben Marshall joined from Wolves for 1.7 Million Euros, and Rhodes joined from Sheffield Wednesday on loan. Only Marshall of the above didn't play a big part in Norwich's Championship winning side - and that was mainly down to the emergence of Aarons. To put the above in context, all of these players cost far less than Celina, and also cost less than Asoro (2.3 Million Euros).

    If you look at the previous season, after Stuart Webber joined in April 2017, Norwich also signed the likes of:  Zimmermann joined Jul 2017 for free from B Dortmund II, Trybull joined for free from Den Haag in August 2017, Vrancic joined from SV Darmstadt for 0.75 Million Euros in July 2017, Stiepermann joined from Bochum for 1.7 million Euros August 2017, Grant Hanley joined from Newcastle for 3.8 million Euros in August 2017. Only Hanley cost more than £1.5 million - the only Championship-sourced player (significant?), and the only disappointment. 

    Norwich have set the bar very high - but have at least shown how it's possible to achieve great success on a shoestring. Many of the elements that they had to achieve success (Category One academy, progressive footballing philosophy, Premier League training and physio/medical support) are in place at Swansea. The huge remaining missing piece in the jigsaw is the equivalent of Stuart Webber. Should we find someone with his drive, insight and capability we'll be flying. 

    If you can't be bothered to listening to Stuart Webber's interview in full (which incidentally is probably the most insightful thing I've ever heard that's relevant to Swansea's situation), then listen from 1:00:41 onwards - where he discusses recruitment specifically:

    Excellent post, Norwich have owners and a chairman that love the club, they are nothing like our owners, more the pity. A lot of passion and good brainwork with everyone working together wins. Even if they get relegated they have a plan in place, they are now the model club
    Wyn
  • A model, even they would not claim to be the model.
  • Wyn said:
    Norwich, in their first season under Webber and Farke finished 14th - so by the start of the 2018/19 season those two had a full season under their belts - and several of the players they brought in from abroad in their first season also had a season's experience. We're probably ahead of where they were then in terms of blooding youngsters, but given the absence of a recruitment team and the issues around the ways the owners have made several poor decisions I think this season is too early realistically for a promotion push. Had Potter remained then a play-off place, at the very least, would have been on the cards. 

    We really need to play the long game here and get a settled structure in place. That means finding a dynamic young HoR in the mould of Stuart Webber who buys into the Swansea Way completely. It also means that the owners continue to learn lessons from their mistakes. To be fair to them bringing in Potter (albeit probably at Huw's instigation), and now Cooper, showed that they'd learned from their mistake with Bradley. Potter could easily have gone to Stoke last summer - in which case I'm sure they would be back in the Premier League by now. But we took a gamble on him because he fitted the philosophy that brought us success when we were progressing as a club. The owners also need to learn from the mistake of nearly selling James on the cheap, and show more patience - if only because the evidence of James' transfer demonstrates that they we as a club and therefore them as owners, will be better off in the long run by selling players at their peak value. 

    If we have a good HoR in place in the next couple of weeks and he/she can hit the ground running then I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing one or perhaps even two of our youngsters leave, but only on the condition that we get top dollar for them and we bring in 5 or 6 quality players into the squad before the end of the transfer window. That's a massive ask, but our best chance of doing a Norwich. In any event we need to have some faith in the likes of Birch and Cooper that we're getting things back on track, and we need to cut them some slack.
    Some great points @Wyn - particularly around rebalancing the squad and patience. Looking at the youngsters that we have and the current "make up" of our squad I think there are a couple of players who are MUST NOT sell unless the offer is so crazy that it allows us to totally rebuild with confidence through reinvestment.
    McBurnie is a case in point - our only striker fit for purpose at Championship level, and as close to a guarantee of goals as you will get. Also just entering his "prime". We cannot sell for less than it would cost to buy two goal scoring strikers - so in my mind $30 million or more. Nobody will offer that - so he stays.
    Grimes is another - anchors the midfield,wins tackles and protects the back 4, good dead ball delivery scores the odd goal and has a magic wand for a left leg. We have nobody in the squad that offers all of that (or even close). In my mind $25 million or above would be required to get my attention.
    Lastly Rodon - good on the ball, bit of pace, wins a high percentage of aerial duels - only two centre backs in the squad. Again I would not answer any call that is less than $25 million. Nobody will pay that  - he has to stay.
    This is the "spine of the team" which gives us something to build around.
    There are 2 young stars, however, who might be expendable at the RIGHT price as long as all funds are reinvested into the squad. I say this not because I love these players any less, but we do have replacements "in house" and their individual presence is NOT critical to our success. These are Connor and Bersant.
    Of course the price would have to be right, but lets say we were offered $15 million for either of them, and had the opportunity to recruit 2-3 players at $4-6 million each - would that not improve our squad overall? Particularly when we have Naughton on the books as a right back and Wayne, McKay, Byers as a No.10?
    Of course all of the above depends on us having a successful scouting and recruitment team for replacements.
    Thoughts?
    Oh and sorry for the $ signs - my North American keyboard does not have a pound sign - I obviously mean pounds sterling!

    Wyn
  • I'm very much in agreement Jackareme with regards to your views on McBurnie, Grimes and Rodon. Another reason for not selling McBurnie is because he comes across as a strong positive personality, who I get the feeling is an important figure in the dressing room. He would be a massive loss in so many ways. 

    Unfortunately, based on the Woods and James fiascos I suspect we'd sell McBurnie for anything north of £15 million, Grimes for £10 million plus, and Rodon for a similar amount. Yet, as long as they stay clear of injury I'm confident that in a year's time all three will be worth more - in Rodon's case substantially more. 

    I also agree on Roberts, even though it pains me to say it, given he's local and such a strong personality. If anyone has to leave his is the position we have the strongest cover for, also I don't think he's going to appreciate as much as the others, although I'd love to be proven wrong on that. I just feel he's approaching his optimal performance level, and he's older than the others - so that he's not far off his peak value. 

    I'd be sorry to see Celina go too, but again I agree that he's probably less important than the aforementioned trio. Jonny Williams would be the obvious like-for-like replacement, low risk on cost but high risk on the injury front. We also have the likes of Byers (who I don't rate as a deep-lying midfielder and is a proper number 10), McKay, Routledge and Dhanda who can all offer decent competition for Celina's position. 

    Hopefully the Ayews will continue to bang in the goals for Ghana and leave for a combined £20 million and we can then dig our heels in with regards to all of the youngsters. I'm not pinning my hopes on that outcome mind...
    Jackareme
  • edited June 27
    I put Connor and bersant in the same catagory as Matt Grimes. I believe Connor will develop into into a box2box midfielder, he has the engine for it. 

    Bersant is our star player imo, he has the creativity in the last third, that only Mckay can come close to.

    If anything will get us promoted it will be the Celina-McBurnie axis in the last third.
  • @SpringheeledJack ; - it would be interesting to see Connor in a midfield role, because as you say, he is an incredible athlete. If that is the plan, then yes his value to the club just increased. 
    I like Celina - but my belief is that grimes is our star player right now - for consistency and value to the team. Bersant has lots of ability but fades in and out and we have others that play his position.
    Great debate though - goes without saying the optimum is to keep ALL of the young guns and offload dead wood - Go Birchy Go!!
    SpringheeledJack
  • I see no ones mentioned Mr Byers who of what I’ve seen could be another who gets better this season ... not a bad lad as the saying goes 
  • enaitch said:
    I see no ones mentioned Mr Byers who of what I’ve seen could be another who gets better this season ... not a bad lad as the saying goes 
    Needs to play further forward. He's a goalscorer.
    Jackareme
  • Potter was expecting to be pushing for promotion play-offs at least, if he had stayed. 

    I was told this by someone who had spoken to him about it.
    I should hope so. That's the target of at least half the division every season, and our form and performances this year show that the players we have belong in that bracket.
  • jasper_T said:
    enaitch said:
    I see no ones mentioned Mr Byers who of what I’ve seen could be another who gets better this season ... not a bad lad as the saying goes 
    Needs to play further forward. He's a goalscorer.
    I agree with this @jasper_T - he looks to have the creative ability to play the 10 role and possibly not the engine to get box to box. He has Celina ahead of him at the moment in that position - but his ability to cover that role is VERY useful. I think he is progressing quickly and I am excited to see his progress this year.
  • Getting back to the heading of this thread. 
    Head of Recruitment.
     As I’ve said before, just go and get Kevin Reeves, if he’s still available. 
  • Not sure if Reeves would want to have that role. It means he would need to be based in Swansea, and I am not sure he'd want that.

    He could be a head scout though.
  • Why not just go to the guy at Norwich and see if he wants to prove he can do it 3 times in a row.

    Costs nothing to ask!
    Jackareme
  • edited June 28
    Interesting comments if true, shortly to me suggests could be next week!

    In terms of incomings, a new head of recruitment, who should be appointed shortly, will pave the way for a transfer panel loaded with experience and insight. It will be Birch's job to get deals over the line. And you'd bet on him getting them done. Cooper spoke of being "creative" in the market, which suggests savvy deals and loan moves will be the order of the summer. 


  • The downside of having no Head of Recruitment and no organised scouting staff is the ability to 'cherry pick' young, up and coming talent, especially at financially struggling clubs like Bolton Wanderers. Celtic have signed 18 year old Luca Connell, who made a very good impression in Bolton's struggling first team last season and would have been available for a tribunal fee far smaller than what we have paid in the past when scouting talent in Scotland.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48810612

  • Just one of a number of players, who were available for free or cheap we have missed out on. I really hope there is some movement soon.
  • The downside of having no Head of Recruitment and no organised scouting staff is the ability to 'cherry pick' young, up and coming talent, especially at financially struggling clubs like Bolton Wanderers. Celtic have signed 18 year old Luca Connell, who made a very good impression in Bolton's struggling first team last season and would have been available for a tribunal fee far smaller than what we have paid in the past when scouting talent in Scotland.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48810612

    He played against us in March I don't think we needed a head of recruitment in place to be aware of him or his contract situation with Bolton. Could have just read the papers.

    Doubt Celtic got him on a cheap deal, there was a lot of buzz around the boy.
  • In the article it stated that Celtic paid over the price quoted that would have been expected from a tribunal.


  • there were a number of comments about which players we could cherry pick on this very forum last season, when they were on the brink of going bust.
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