As the start of the competition starts there has been a leaked list of over 100 scouts that are rumoured to be attending to watch the plethora of talent on show.
Here is a little shortcut to some of the talent that will be on show outside of the UK shores:
Marco Assensio - Read Madrid - Spain
This Champions League goalscorer and winner could well be the Galacticos greatest ever bargain costing a rumoured £2.5 million, which is less than what his club team mate Cristiano Ronaldo is worth per month. This superstar was named after Marco Van Basten and he’s fastly proving that he’s one to watch in Spanish football.
This left footed whizz kid first broke in to the scene whilst at Mallorca in 2013/14 aged just 17 years old making his professional debut which quickly drew the attention of both Real Madrid and Barcelona. However Marco opted for Real and after an impressive U19 Euros, winning Player of the Tournament and scoring 5 goals along the way he was soon on loan at Espanyol with a 30 plus game season under his belt.
With an 89% average passing accuracy over the season he completed 22 out of 26 passes in the Champions League final after coming on for Benzema on 64 minutes. He even grabbed the 4th and final goal and set up Ronaldo’s winner too.
As a rising star of Spanish football, this creative technical midfielder has the vision to unlock even the greatest of defences.
Goncalo Guedes - Benfica - Portugal
Having joined Benfica at the aged of 8 years old, his stock was growing rapidly inside the Benfica Academy camp constantly playing a few years above his age. Even at such a young age Guedes had a great understanding of the game, his speed of thought was equaled with his physical acceleration and pace.
Guedes has been utilised in central areas, but his strength lies out wide using his wizardry craft on the ball & his electrifying pace to terrorise defenders.
As most wingers Guedes is very direct, he has a track record of creating opportunities for others consistently whilst also having an eye for goal.
Its still very early days for Guedes, his constant comparison due to his pace and skill to his fellow countryman Ronaldo doesn’t seem to have affected him and everyone is hoping to see a lot more of his in 2017/18.
With the assured Renato Sanches alongside him on the International stage Guedes could be the key to unlocking those defensive barriers that Portugal was face in Poland.
Max Mayer - Schalke - Germany
In 2012 at the U17 European Championships Meyer exploded on to the scene winning the top goalscorer aware and Player of the Tournament.
Having joined Schalke at the age of 14 Meyer made his professional debut aged just 17 with an assist for the equaliser against Mainz and it wasn’t long until he was making his full debut in the Champions League.
Meyer has a low centre of gravity, his ability to receive the ball with a cushion like touch on the move and then ghost past defenders with such control has helped him create over 1 opportunity per game. A great part of Meyer’s game is his running in from the line and from central areas, arriving with precision timing to elude his defensive counterparts.
Aged 21 and having over 120 games in the Bundesliga under his belt has elevated’s Meyers worth with rumoured interested parties looking to prise him away from Schalke who may find it hard to keep him with no Champions League or Europa football for 2017/18.
Patrick Schick - Sampdoria - Czech
Progressing through the youth ranks at Sparta Prague Schick made his first team debut in May 2014 before being loaned out to Bohemians 1905 scoring 8 times in 27 games which alerted the recruitment team in Sampdoria who made their intentions clear with a £3.5 million pound bid.
His International career has seen him represent his county through the full youth ranks and has made his full senior debut scoring once in his 3 games to date.
Standing at 6ft 2, his 13 goals from this No 9 in 29 games, with just 11 starts has started the rumour mill with Tottenham and Arsenal being potentially interested in his services.
Towering high this striker has troubled and tormented defenders in and around the 6 yard box and whilst he may not have electric speed he does have speed of thought and can conjure the ball with pace to elude defenders.
His aerial capability is advantageous to his defensive unit as well as in the attacking 3rd, he’s equally at home contributing on defensive corners and wins his duels.
He has great technique and could be utilised as a stand alone striker but he’s equally as happy playing as a two with great link up play and awareness. His intelligence and awareness of his surroundings helps him to exploit space.
Will this be the summer that further catapults Schick into the limelight?
Gianluigi Donnarumma - AC Milan - Italy
Standing at over 6ft 5”, this 18 year old has had a meteoric rise since making his senior team debut aged just 16 years old having joined from Napoli just 2 years previously for £250,000.
His wingspan has helped him become the shield the Italian Giants need, his excellent footwork gives him such a vast precise coverage and he’s very capable of pulling out those game defining big saves.
At 18 years old there is still a lot to learn, match experience will help him fine tune his timings and decisions but the future is definitely bright for Donnarumma.
As a quick thinker with great coordination and technique, his precision and his mentality could help him be the one to succeed the great Buffon and carry the Azzurri’s goalkeeping mantel for many years to come.
Club Relationship Manager - Player LENS
In addition to working at Player LENS, Justin works with the English FA where he is a scout and talent ID recruitment professional with a focus on the youth development phase. Prior to joining the FA and Player LENS, Justin was a scout at Premier League club Stoke FC.
Jose Ramon Capdevila has joined Player LENS as a Managing Director.
Jose Ramón joins after a 10 year spell at Real Madrid CF where he served as Head of Football Operations.
Jose Ramon oversaw all strategic and administrative matters in relation to the running of the football club including the management of the team’s playing budget and player registrations. Jose Ramon also worked in the Strategic Planning Division. In his capacity, he worked on the development of new ventures on both the business and sports fronts, as well as potential synergies between both sides of the organisation, with the aim of maximising the organisation’s revenue.
Prior to joining Real Madrid, Jose Ramon worked in M&As in the field of Corporate Finance. Before that, he worked at KPMG in the consulting department.
Jose Ramon holds a MBA and BA degree from ESADE and an Executive Education program in Mergers and Acquisitions at GSB Stanford.
Jose Ramon will bring significant industry insight to Player LENS in addition to connectivity to a network of stakeholders and clubs across the world in the football industry.
“I was introduced to Player LENS whilst serving in my position as head of football operations at Real Madrid CF, “This is what is needed to bring efficiency, transparency and equal opportunities into the global football transfer market.”
- Jose Ramon Capdevila, Managing Director Player LENS
Always a pleasure to go back to the University of Liverpool and meet with the current year's Football MBA class.
Thanks to our partners at Savills Sports and Media for the invitation to the London Football Awards.
We had an enjoyable 3 days travelling with the management team of Hodd on a recruitment and scouting mission catching up with and watching games involving Blackburn, Burnley, Bury, Sunderland, Luton, Oxford, Cardiff and Coventry.
We were again asked to present at the LMA educational event, This month was especially noteworthy as the key speakers at St George's Park were Gareth Southgate, England first team manager and Ross Wilson (Director of Player Recruitment and Scouting at Southampton.) Ross drives the Southampton philosophy which has resulted in some of the most astute recruitment decisions in English football.
Player LENS has been featured in El Pais as one of the revolutionary ideas that will change sport.
We attended a networking event at the Global Sport Innovation Centre. The meeting began with a presentation by the football coach José Ramón Sandoval, who has a long career in First and Second Division teams such as Rayo Vallecano, Granada and Sporting de Gijón. Sandoval explained how a professional football coach uses technology.
With the transfer window now 5 days open we have seen a significant change in market dynamics. Heading into January we saw decent foreign demand for players to match a number of players made available by clubs overseas. Over the last couple of days we have had a significant number of players made available for loan from the Premier League, Championship and League One.
Player LENS are pleased to announce our official alliance with Savills Sports, Media and Entertainment a subsidiary division of the renowned global real estate advisor Savills.
The team work with high profile clients throughout the sporting and entertainment arenas, who seek a balance of utmost discretion and experienced insight from the best advisors in the business.
Savills will take care of all and any property services that may arise from players relocating through a move facilitated by Player LENS, from rentals to house purchases, guidance on the right locations and schools, through to property investments and overseas opportunities.
We are also more than happy to make an introduction to the Savills team for any club officials who may interested in their services.
Again we would like to thank the LMA and PFCA for an invitation to their Masterclass Coaching Clinic.
We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about Player LENS and the associated benefits for clubs and players to a full room of LMA and PFCA members. Our friends at Scout7 also were showcasing their latest video platform which we are using at Player LENS to compliment our exchange product with an player evaluation tool.
After bracing the cold weather and enjoying the practical session put on by the experienced John Ward, it was great to listen and chat with Richard Allen, the FA’s Head of Talent Identification, and understand the methodology used by the FA to recognised talent in England and how the philosophy and practices at the highest level are being passed on to clubs through their education program.
In the afternoon, everyone was thoroughly engaged by the presentation of Graham Potter, Manager of Ostersunds FK and his football journey - taking a regional community club in Sweden up 3 levels to the top flight in Sweden. In addition to hearing about a young English manager’s success overseas, we were particularly encouraged by Graham’s account of how young players can benefit from opportunities in abroad which may not have been present in England. So far At Player LENS we have helped a few players’ careers develop in parts of Scandinavia and are encouraged to pursue more opportunities after speaking with Graham.
Finally, it was rewarding to hear Paul McGuinness, Manchester United youth coach from 1992 to 2016 summarise and compliment the benefits of Player LENS to the LMA/ PFCA members.
With the Player LENS Network continuously growing, we are starting to see clubs from Europe indicate their loan recruitment requirements for January. Providing optionality into Europe presents clubs in England with, not only, more playing alternatives for their players, but also clubs in Europe have different budget regimes which can allow for parent clubs to re-coupe a greater contribution payment for their players.
Following our exposure at the World Football Summit as finalists of the Global Sports Innovation Centre Start Up Challenge, Player LENS are now delighted to announce the forthcoming 2017 partnership with the, unique to the sports industry, Microsoft Innovation Centre. Working with over a hundred companies and organisations based all over the world, the GSIC foster the development and creation of startups. SMEs and entrepreneurs working on sports projects and provide access to mentoring programs, technical support from technology experts and specialists, together with access to and contact with big companies and multinationals in order to develop their projects.
Work is already underway to leverage off the 2017 partnership and drive Player LENS exposure to clubs, associations and federations around the world which will improve the network benefits of new and existing clubs members.
We finished as a runner up in the World Football Summit Start Up Challenge, a competition run by the Global Sport Innovation Centre which is a Microsoft sponsored partnership operation.
The event gave Player LENS some great exposure to the global football market and we were proud to be selected amongst a group of excellent innovators who will no doubt add value to the football industry.
In addition to the competition it was great to be part of the World Football Summit which was a first class event!!!! In short it was informative and inclusive - providing a strong platform to network with other delegates and drive the football industry for the better. I have no doubt the all delegates and sponsors also agree.
Whilst in Madrid, we spent an afternoon to fully understand the purpose of the GSIC (explained here: https://news.microsoft.com/europe/2015/05/12/microsoft-opens-the-global-sports-innovation-center-in-madrid/#sm.00009jw4xlhi0e8mqnh2djjxsogrr)
What an exciting initiative! With a relationship now in place we hope to work with them and their partners in the near future.
We're delighted to have been selected as a finalist for the World Football Summit / Global Sport Innovation Centre Start-Up Challenge. We're on the short list alongside 6 other smart companies, down from 38 entries, that are bringing innovation the the football industry.
Our Autumn English Professional Loan Market Report has now been published. This report highlights successes where players have delivered on the pitch after benefitting from a move in the loan market. The report also makes use of video clips made available by Scout7.
We have today published our review of this summer's loan activity including our thoughts on the impact from the abolition of the Emergency Loan Window and how this may affect the loan market in January.
Please feel free to contact us for a copy.
Surprise deals going through and deals surprisingly falling through. On reflection we've done 'what's said on the tin' and helped clubs and players find loan spells efficiently with plenty of noise in the market. Now we hope the deals work out well and the player get the valuable game time and impress with parent and loan clubs this season.
Today marks the first anniversary of our Partnership with the LMA. Over the last year the relationship has allowed us to work closely with their members and their clubs, aiding their recruitment process and providing opportunities for their players to gain valuable development experience and game time through loans to other clubs in our network.
Our partnership continues in 2016/17 where we will continue to deliver a beneficial service to the Association and their members.
The Player LENS 2015/16 English Professional Loan Market Report is now available.
The report identifies key trends in relation to club activity in the loan market looking at:
The use and dependency of loans in England
With new rules now in place forcing clubs to loan players between regular transfer windows and the abolishment of emergency loans, we have also provided opinion on the data in relation to how the market will adjust.
How clubs interact at different levels when sending and recruiting players by way of loan.
The timing of loan deals and length of loan spells.
The success of loans judged by how much game time players are getting during a loan spell.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the report. With 3 years of historical loan data we can also provide bespoke reports to aid the future decision process in the loan market.
With 3 young English prospects out in Norway it was great to pay them a visit. Bergsoy (where the lads are) played the B team of their local rivals, Hodd, on Monday. Hodd, who made the Europa league in 2013/14 fielded 7 first team players which meant a big test for the young English players at Bergsoy. The game finished 4-2 to Hodd who were clinical going forward. On balance Bergsoy had more chances and Joe Wallacott in goal didn't have much to do other than try and make himself big when a fast Hodd forward got onto a clever through ball behind Bergsoy's defence. He saved 2 but then conceded in the 2nd phase of play.
Scott Burgess won the MOTM award controlling the game from midfield and Jordan Blinco was both exciting and dangerous skipping past defenders when going forward. The boys done well.
I caught up with them the next day and the limps and hobbles demonstrated that they'd been in a competitive game of men's football which is the primary reason the lads are their to aide their development. In short the boys are having a great time. They're both physically stronger and match fit and eager to play a part for their parent clubs next season. They'll be desperate for game time now having experienced the challenge.
Off the pitch they've adapted well to the Norwegian lifestyle and, with few distractions, they have been focused on their football by putting in extra training sessions, time in the gym and passing on some experience to the young Norwegian academy players.
A later visit to the facilities at Hodd was amazing. This is a community club run to such a high standard that has lead to Europa League qualification. The artificial surface was the best on offer. a great stadium and within the indoor facilities they have a 4G surface and a full banked olympic running track.
Having seen the boys tested, heard from them in relation to the experience and seen the facilities, Norway offers a platform to develop young footballing talent which matches any other major footballing nation.
We will be at the Tornoi Toulon on May 24/25/26! Any clubs / scouts / federations that would like to meet whilst we are there please drop us a message.
The provisional squad for the 2016 Euros has been announced. Of the 26 players selected, 19 (73%) have used the loan market for career development. On average, a player in today's England squad has had 2.19 loan spells. To further highlight that there is no quick and easy route to success (I guess asides from Rashford), only 5 players in the squad have not played part of their career in the low leagues outside of the Premier League.
We have clubs from 8 counties and 3 continents now using the Player LENS platform to establish a wider network to recruit and loan players. New clubs from Europe are looking to do their 2016/17 business early with some strong talent being made available for transfer. Additionally we have demand for players from Asia. Any clubs looking to access a wider network in the transfer market please get in touch.
As our network expands globally we are seeing demand from across the globe to recruit player through the Player LENS System. We already looking at player suitable for a move to Asia, in an exciting league for the forthcoming season.
We are really please to have facilitated loan moves for young Premier League, Championship and League 1 players to Norway. With the Norwegian season about to start the young players, who have not played enough this season, are going to get those valuable competitive matches under the belt over the next three months and will come back to their parent clubs fitter and ready to compete for places next season. Norwegian clubs' offer an excellent environment for a young players development and dialogue has been established between clubs to provide the parent club with first class fitness and technical data and video footage of the players.
It was a pleasure this morning to present to LMA and PFCA members as part of their February Coaching Clinic. It was also interesting to hear about the work being carried out by the PGMOL and top level referees from Mike Riley and Anthony Taylor and see the delivery of a coaching session from a experienced professional in Kit Symonds.
The presentation was made easier by seeing some familiar faces and Player LENS supporters in the audience.
We have been mandated to find loans for over 100 players, sanctioned by their parent clubs, before the window closes Monday. We have breadth and depth across all positions, playing levels and valuations.
We are still looking for more players that could benefit from a loan spell with demand for over 30 players from the football league and across Europe.
Any clubs with player recruitment needs can give us a call to see if we can help with their search for talent or clubs that could provide valuable playing time for their players.
We were back in Scotland on Monday, following a successful trip last week, given the overwhelming interest in Player LENS. With Celtic FC amongst others now on board there are ample opportunities for clubs domestically and internationally to find loan opportunities for players, both inbound and outbound. We also received on-going support from Neil Doncaster, CEO of the SPFL.
Our international network continues to grow with participants from across Europe, Asia and South America advertising or looking for talent. Currently we have 94 players who can potentially move in this widow and demand for players from across the globe.
We have seen a significant increase in the number of players made available for loan in the last 24 hours. There are now over 70 players that have been indicated as being available for loan by their parent clubs. This number means that we have tangible options across all positions, playing levels and budgets.
With the festivities behind us (and the turkey gone!) there are plenty of player recruitment options on the Player LENS platform with over 40 players, covering all positions and professional playing levels, looking for a new club in the January window.
English Premier League and Championship clubs have responded to the launch of our international offering by making players available for immediate loan spells in Europe.
The Player Loan Exchange Network System (LENS), used by two thirds of the professional football clubs in England, is now ready for international participation.
Clubs from around the globe can join the network to overcome communication barriers and utilise the ability to source and promote players for loans with all other Player LENS network participants.
Clubs using the tool can advertise their players who are looking to further develop their talent or gain valuable game time in other leagues or clubs either at home or abroad. Clubs can filter which countries, leagues and clubs they wish to engage with to bring further efficiency to the process.
Clubs looking to recruit talent in the market can instantly know who is available for loan therefore no time is wasted dealing with aimless reverse enquiries and unsolicited calls. Speculative outgoing calls are replaced by a single communication to Player LENS regarding a focus list of players that are known to be available and within a club's budget.
The club-only Player LENS network delivers a no nonsense approach to executing loan transactions by removing all hypothetical calls.
Existing club users in England will get automatic access to the international platform. Clubs from outside of the UK can join the network for free before 14th January 2016.
We are almost ready to launch our international product. Clubs from across the globe who are looking to engage in loan transfers, inbound or outbound, in January, either in their domestic market or to understand options abroad, can call us now in preparation for the window opening and the launch of broader offering.
With the emergency loan window closed we can reflect on what has been a busy autumn period and better than expected network participation and loan transfers. Watch this space for some exciting announcements ahead of the January transfer window.
Player LENS introduced the Loan Exchange Network System to Neil Doncaster, CEO of the Scottish Professional Football League and former CEO of Norwich City Football Club. Neil acknowledged the benefits that the product would deliver to clubs by way of both cost and time savings and the efficiency that the exchange will bring to the loan market. Player LENS are intending to introduce the product to all professional clubs in Scotland in early 2015
Over 50 clubs now utilising the electronic network and 50 players from across all 4 English professional divisions and the Scottish Premier League have been made available for loan.
We are are delighted to announce our new partnership with the League Managers Association (LMA). The LMA is the representative association of the managers, past and present, across the 92 league clubs from the Barclays Premier League and Sky Bet Football Leagues, offering the collective views and opinions of its membership throughout the game. LMA Chief Executive Richard Bevan: ‘The service Player LENS aims to provide in the game means a partnership with the LMA is a natural fit. We look forward to developing our partnership in the next 12 months and beyond.’
The Player LENS App now allows clubs to advertise their players to a wider audience. Clubs can now indicate that their players are available to loan to clubs in the National Leagues, the Scottish Professional Football League and abroad. This therefore allows clubs from outside of England to participate on the Player LENS platform. An additional feature also allows parent clubs to indicate that their players are only available for a recognised youth loan. Interested new users, including Non-League, Scottish and overseas clubs can email email@example.com for further details
We are looking for a summer intern at Player LENS to utilise the data collected by the company, construct and build a number of management and client reports focused on player performance and transfer market dynamics. The ideal candidate will tech savvy and show a passion for football. There is the potential for this to evolve into a permanent role and the project can be used for a Uni dissertation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with CV and cover letter if interested
With three Sports Technology Awards nominations, and similar goals to provide a dedicated service to the professional football industry, Aaron Gourley of fcbusiness caught up with Lee Hemmings and Jordan Mornington of Player LENS
Player LENS is now connecting 1/3 of the the Professional Football Clubs in England and continues to grow rapidly. The network is currently allowing Football League clubs to assess options during the emergency loan window and will be stronger ahead of the summer transfer window with more domestic participation expected and expansion plans into Europe.
Daily Telegraph - "A new category at the 2015 Sports Technology Awards is the Most Promising Concept Award, highlighting the technology that will transform sport"
The Player LENS Loan Exchange Network System has been shortlisted for 3 Sports Technology Awards:
Best Support Technology for Managers and Coaches - Individual
Best Sports App
Most Promising Concept Award
Player LENS is now fully operational and populated by parent clubs who are looking to find the right loan spell opportunity for their players. Since the launch on Wednesday the audience has grown rapidly to 25 clubs looking to utilise the network. The forthcoming week presents a packed schedule of meetings where the service will be presented to more clubs who are looking to understand the benefits that the product brings to the football industry.
Player LENS Goes Live!!!!! The Player LENS Loan Exchange Network is now operational. Clubs can now make available and search for players for loan or potential permanent transfers. Clubs can download the phone or tablet app for either Android or Apple devices. There has been an immediate positive impact with clubs posting players to the network who are seeking playing time and a chance to further develop through a loan spell.
The Player LENS Introductory brochure, which compliments the rewards we’re seeing from engaging with clubs face-to-face, is now available from here.
Player LENS this week attended the Player Contracts 2014 conference attended by industry heavyweights to discuss current issues in the field of player employment and transfers. Of particular interest was the variety of views on Third Party Ownership, the proposed FIFA changes on agent regulation and the new issue of 'bridge transfers'. In discussions more specific to Player LENS we were encouraged to hear from FIFA TMS that loan volumes continue to climb. Also Ritchie Humphreys, PFA Chairman, voiced his support of loans citing the excellent opportunity it gives for young players to develop.
Player LENS have today partnered with Opta Sports who will provide data services to power the Player LENS Loan Exchange Network System. The Exchange will be data-rich with regard to all of the registered players across the English football pyramid including the U21 League. In addition to supporting the exchange's functional capabilities, performance data from Opta, both current and historic, will be made available to clubs to assess the available talent. The partnership with Opta both enriches the Player LENS service whilst maintaining a complete objective position in the market in order to facilitate loan transfers efficiently with no bias to any club or player. Opta is the world's leading sports data company who collect, package, analyse and distribute more live data, in more detail, than anyone else.The biggest and best brands in the world of sport rely on it to power their coverage across a range of platforms covering 300 customers in 40 countries. Players and teams are compared using the same global standard, and it is this passion for consistency that has ensured that Opta has become the byword for credibility in the world of sports data. Player LENS is a beneficial resource to football clubs by injecting transparency, volume and knowledge to the player loan market in an efficient, effective and harmonious manner. The Player LENS bespoke technology platform provides all participating clubs the ability to source and execute transfers seamlessly in a secure and safe transactional environment. The exchange setting details comprehensive player data, provides an enhanced service level and user experience, as well as delivering cost savings to the football industry.
Player LENS were invited by the FA and presented to a group of representatives from the FA, The Premier League, The Football League, The Professional Footballers Association and a large number of football clubs to showcase our product and services ahead of the launch in autumn 2014.