Premier League scouts working overtime in search for talent during shutdown, says ex-City defender

Norwich City will be on the lookout for more gems like Emi Buendia in the transfer window despite the current Premier League shutdown. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City will be on the lookout for more gems like Emi Buendia in the transfer window despite the current Premier League shutdown. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

There will be no let-up in the scouting of players for Premier League clubs during the coronavirus shutdown.

That’s the verdict of former Norwich City defender Rob Newman, who is currently the International Scouting and Recruitment manager at Manchester City.

Whilst it is still uncertain how the 2019/20 season is going to be concluded and when the summer transfer window opens, Newman believes the situation may see clubs unearth talent that they might have missed in the cut and thrust world of the Premier League.

“There’s plenty for us to concentrate on and we are working on the last six months’ worth of matches, watching players,” said Newman, who has been working in the champions’ scouting department for almost 12 years. “The break actually means that we are looking at players that we perhaps might not have if everything wasn’t shut down.

“There’s a lot of work to do. It’s obviously difficult for us because we don’t know what is going to happen with the transfer windows but we have got to proceed at the moment as if nothing has changed on that front.

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“It’s even more difficult for us because we don’t know if we are going to be in the Champions League next season or even the season after that. There’s so many different scenarios that we’ve got to plan for and be ready for but we’ve got a lot of time to look at things.”

Player welfare is uppermost in the minds of clubs during the shutdown. Young footballers with a lot of time on their hands without much to do can lead to trouble but Newman believes the majority of Premier League clubs have networks in place to ensure players are kept safe and occupied.

“The physical side of things will be fine for players,” added Newman. “I would think a lot of the players have got their own home gyms so individual training won’t be a problem.

“Obviously you can’t work on the team aspect of the game and that’s why clubs will want a period of time before the Premier League can return to get that right again.

“But it’s the mental side clubs have to consider as well.

“Young kids can go a bit stir crazy on their own but at all Premier League clubs I would think there will be someone in contact with them so they can talk.”

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